His­tory talk

Direc­tor David Blair dis­cusses how he hon­oured the Pol­ish pi­lots that fought for the RAF in the new Bat­tle of Bri­tain block­buster, Hur­ri­cane

All About History - - HISTORY WAR -

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.

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