Written and directed by Samuel Supple
The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 saw millions of young British men (over 8 million in total) fight what proved to be a very bloody war. The troops left the UK via the coastal town of Folkestone in Kent. This documentary, made a century later, explores some of the themes of WWI with a group of young people taking part in reconstructions and method acting workshops.
Scenes recreated include the execution of a solider by firing squad for desertion and a tearful mother saying a final goodbye to her son at a train station as an officer reassures her. The method workshops recreate the ‘white feather’ shaming whereby young women pinned white feathers onto men who were not enlisted to fight, labeling them as cowards.
Time Bleeds is all the more poignant when we reflect that several of the actors in the workshops and dramatic reconstructions are no younger than millions of young men who died barely into adulthood. With some fitting quotes from war poet Wilfred Owen, Time Bleeds is an imaginative piece of film-making that brings the past alive. Looking back today, it serves to remind us not only of some of the prevailing attitudes of the time, but of the enormous sacrifice made by a generation, the huge loss of life, and the pain suffered by their loved ones.