Rating: 3 / 5
Spitfire celebrates the plane that is credited with changing the course of world history during the dark days of World War II.
This account of the plane’s beginnings, with the stories of the people and families who were closely involved with it, is a slow burner, but worth staying with.
The highlights of this interesting documentary are a fascinating mix of archival newsreel footage and aerial footage of the Spitfires, interspersed with interviews with the young pilots and RAF staff of the day, who recall their lives at that time.
One particularly moving scene was a pilot recalling his heartfelt prayer whenever he was sent on a mission—“Lord, it’s going to be a very busy day and if I forget you, don’t forget me!”
What may surprise modern-day audiences is the importance of the female pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary, such as centenarian Mary Ellis, who flew more than a thousand planes during the war years, picking up and delivering planes and personnel from factories to airfields and anywhere else they were needed.
Seeing Mary reunited with a Spitfire she flew during the war, and signed her name on, is a touching human moment in this documentary packed with real-life wartime footage, and featuring Game of Thrones’ actor Charles Dance as narrator.
Spitfire is no glorification of war—an elderly former pilot’s heartfelt words will remain in your mind long after the film has ended: “In all conscience, this world needs a change from all this hostility and warfare. The world needs a change.”
Wise words worth heeding from a wartime survivor.