You enter a 3m x 2m wooden booth. A microphone invites you to sing along with one of 8 soldiers. You choose a song on the touch screen. A uniformed soldier looks you in the eyes and sings on the large TV screen….
The Soldier’s Song was made with and about serving soldiers, developed over an 18-month period of conversation and questions. The Soldier’s Song challenges our preconceptions and asks us to ponder our connection with the screen soldier by inviting us to duet with someone who might fight in our name. Are we willing to remain an audience? What do we think?
“At the time of making, the UK was openly engaged in 2 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I didn’t know what I thought about that and began to doubt my certainties of opinion and question the sometimes lazy thinking that forms them. I wanted clear well-informed answers.
When I began I didn’t know any soldiers so watched hours of Youtube videos and set out to meet some. As I started asking questions, the casual judgements I had been making were replaced with something much more complex.
Audience reaction to The Soldier’s Song embraced all shades of political opinion. At the end of the process, I have far more questions than I started with – and I hope I have provoked some of the same questions in viewers." - Renny O’Shea, Director