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Benjamin Britten: Peace And Conflict review

A docu-drama about the leading British composer

Marking the 100th anniversary of the British composer’s birth, this partly dramatised documentary does a sterling job of illuminating Britten’s music via his politics.

Director Tony Britten (no relation) paints a compelling picture of the left-wing revolution which seduced an entire generation of young aesthetes.

John Hurt narrates, while Alex Lawther is endearingly diffident as the teenage Ben.

In fact, the dramatic sequences are so well done, you’ll wonder why they didn’t make a fully narrative movie instead.

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Steve O'Brien

Steve is a freelance entertainment and lifestyle journalist, sub-editor, and editor. His bylines have appeared in print at publications including SFX, Classic Pop, The Guardian, Vintage Rock, Doctor Who Magazine, Esquire, SciFiNow, Crime Scene, Empire, Filmstar, CLiNT, Total Film, and Yours Retro, as well as websites including The New Statesman, Cineworld, Digital Spy, Radio Times, GamesRadar, Yahoo, and Den Of Geek. He's been featured on several TV documentary shows such as BBC Four’s The Cult Of… and The Cinema Show and has also co-written the books Whographica and Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Slayer Stats. He currently edit the quarterly magazine Vintage Rock Presents.