Samantha Robinson and Joanne Froggatt in Island at War

Island at War (2003)

Island at War is set against the fascinating historical events of the occupation of the Channel Islands during World War Two and focuses on the German invasion, and how island life was irrevocably changed overnight.

Some islanders and many local children were evacuated just prior to the German invasion. They vacated their homes, businesses and schools and headed for the harbour with all the possessions they could carry. With very few boats available to take them to relative safety, the children and Jewish inhabitants were prioritised, and set sail for the unknown.

Those that stayed were to encounter a hostile Nazi command, intent on imposing their way of life on the Island. Villages and towns were given German names, clocks were set to Central European time and all societies, could only meet by permission of the German High Command.

With occupation, the lives of three island families were drastically changed. The Dorrs, the Jonas’ and the Mahy’s struggled to come to terms with the Germans’ presence. Long curfews, food shortages, no contact with young children evacuated to the British mainland, would inevitably stir up distrust and lead to discontent and resistance.
With the uneasy peace came a number of attempts to escape to England. However, for every islander who was successful, there was another poor soul who wasn’t. A number of youths drowned and many were arrested and sent to German concentration camps. Most never returned.

Island at War tells the story of German occupation and the emotional and dramatic effect on the islander’s day to day existence.
producers:
John Rushton
director(s):
Thaddeus O’Sullivan/Peter Lydon
cast:
Clare Holman, James Wilby, Sam Heughan, Daniel Flynn, Laurence Fox, Philip Gleinster
photography:
August / October 2003

More information on IMDB (external link)

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