Event: Documentary Screening: Lancaster - Above and Beyond
Date: May 20, 2023
Location: Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum - Dome
Time: 10 am
Admission: Included with museum admission. Regular admission rates are Adults (18-64) $16, Seniors (65+) $14, Students (13-17) $14, Youth (6-12) $11. Free admission for museum members and children 5 & under.
Lancaster - Above and Beyond tells the story of the iconic World War II bomber, through the words of the last surviving veterans of the strategic bombing campaign.
Starting with ‘The Blitz’, we follow our 38 contributors as they join-up, learn to fly and go to war. With the enemy strong and RAF Bomber Command badly equipped, losses were high. But eventually the tide turned with the introduction of the Lancaster.
Designed to take the war to the enemy - and to win it – the Lancaster was both loved and feared by aircrews and the enemy. From the firestorms of Hamburg, through the famous Dambusters raids and the still-controversial bombing of Dresden, emotional testimonies tell of courage, fear, friendship and moral ambiguity.
For there was a deadly price to be paid in the lethal night skies over Germany – more than 55,000 aircrew and 600,000 civilians were killed. Such was the cost of defeating the Nazis and restoring peace to Europe.
We illustrate this story with extraordinary air-to-air footage of one of only two airworthy Lancasters - operated by the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - and newly re-mastered archive film from the Imperial War Museum and other sources.
However, at the heart of the film are the extraordinary recollections of the veterans. When we interviewed them, the youngest was 95 years old, the oldest over 100. Their recall of events from over 75 years ago is nothing short of incredible. It is the last time they will ever share their stories.
The especially composed score was partly recorded in the historic Q121 wind tunnel at Farnborough and performed by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. It is given extra emotional impact by a male-voice choir singing a wartime aircrew song ‘We Are The Heavy Bombers’. Combined with authentic contemporary and vintage sound effects, the soundtrack is as impactful as the visuals.
Lancaster - Above and Beyond is a truly epic tale.