Director David Blair discusses how he honoured the Polish pilots that fought for the RAF in the new Battle of Britain blockbuster, Hurricane
Q What specifically attracted you to telling the story of the Royal air Force’s Polish 303 Squadron?
a Self-sacrifice as much as anything. It’s one thing to fight for a cause ‘in a far-away land’ but to do so while all sorts of horrors are taking place back home – of which you’re restricted to scant detail – made the story compelling – but heart-breaking too. Having said that, I’m sure what was taking place back in Poland acted as a spur and incentive for these courageous men to keep going.
Q When did you first hear about the Polish contribution to the Battle of Britain?
a I was unaware of the extent of their contribution. I’d always known there had been Polish pilots involved in the battle but very little detail about their exploits. So, in truth, it was becoming a part of the movie that enlightened me to the true facts.
Q Was any part of Hurricane shot at the airfield in Northolt, where 303 squadron was based during the war?
a No, none of it was shot at Northolt. We scouted that particular location but it was too far removed from how it looked in 1940 to use it. An authentic Hurricane was used but the battle sequences comprise a combination of the real thing, a full-scale replica on a movable plinth and a grounded cockpit, the latter two with CGI added.
Hurricane is released in cinemas and on digital platforms from 7 September.