Comprising modern and archive footage, audio, plus a live soundtrack from Field Music and Warm Digits, Esther Johnson’s film Asunder explores the devastating effects of World War One on a small town in the North East of England.
In the early 20th Century, Tyneside and Wearside was home to a thriving industry, with a bustling community excited by football, music hall and a golden future. World War One turned the region upside down. Narrated by Kate Adie and Alan Armstrong, creatively produced by Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne and featuring a live soundtrack written and performed by North Eastern bands Field Music and Warm Digits with a live string ensemble, Asunder captures this world – not through grisly images of war, but through the real stories of people in Sunderland.
Asunder accounts life on the home front through intertwining vignettes and narratives. We meet the brave men going off to the war, and the conscientious objectors ostracised from their community for their principles. We meet the women left behind, working as doctors, tram conductors and even footballers. We meet the real people of Sunderland and experience their lives – resilient, humble and human.
A film by Esther Johnson
Text by Bob Stanley
Narrated by Kate Adie and Alun Armstrong
Music Composed by Field Music and Warm Digits
Performed with The Cornshed Sisters
Produced by Esther Johnson and Bob Stanley
Edited by Graham Taylor
Cinematography by Mary Farbrother
Additional Camera by Esther Johnson
Sound Design and Mix by Chu-Li Shewring
Produced by the Barbican
Asunder is co-commissioned by Sunderland Cultural Partnership and 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sunderland Business Improvement District, Culture Bridge North East and Sir James Knott Trust.
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