Monday, June 6, 2011

'Storming Juno' - Excellent.

To commemorate D-Day Sarah and I decided to watch 'Storming Juno' a docu-drama depicting the Canadian assault on Juno Beach on June 6th, 1944. To be frank I was pretty much expecting the usual Canadian documentary fare: very earnest and workmanlike but kinda boring and lacking that polish you get out of Hollywood. Well, I was pleasantly surprised as the production value is excellent, the storyline tight and the acting quite good. 

I won't be a spoiler as I would like others to enjoy it, but I will say that the combat scenes are gripping and the whole production has alot of heart.  Instead of trying to cover the entire event in broad brush-stokes 'Storming Juno' focuses in on three stories: an infantry assault company of the Regina Rifles, a parachute platoon from the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and a single tank from the 1st Hussars. 

The film utilizes some digital effects but they are reasonably done and are integrated nicely with the rest of the film. It also makes use of archival film footage to good effect as well (I  never get tired of that often-used segment of the landing craft opening its doors in front of the beach).

At the end of the movie there is a short segment with interviews with veterans that is very powerful and touching as well. Their description of combat stress, as felt over the years, is particularly evocative.

Its certainly not 'Saving Private Ryan' but perhaps in some ways its a bit more. Anyway, I recommend checking it out.  Its available on iTunes and I've noticed copies of the DVD showing up in stores.