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Watch: Promising Trailer For Alt WW2 Drama ‘Resistance’ With Michael Sheen & Andrea Riseborough

Watch: Promising Trailer For Alt WW2 Drama 'Resistance' With Michael Sheen & Andrea Riseborough

What if the Germans had won the war? It’s a question that’s plagued hacky science-fiction and historical novel writers since…well, the Germans didn’t win the war, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be the source of compelling fiction. Philip K Dick‘s masterpiece “The Man In The High Castle” is a good example, or Robert Harris‘ gripping thriller “Fatherland,” while the cinematic high watermark is probably the underseen 1966 British film “It Happened Here.” It’s been a while since the sub-genre made it to screens, but The Guardian yesterday brought us a trailer for a new example from the U.K., the thriller “Resistance.”

Based on an acclaimed novel by poet Owen Sheers, it supposes a series of events following the failure of the D-Day invasions, and a subsequent counter-invasion of Great Britain by the Germans. In a remote Welsh village, the men have disappeared to join the Resistance, leaving only the women. When a German patrol arrives to occupy the village, one of them, Sarah (“W.E.” star Andrea Riseborough) falls for one of the enemy (Tom Wlaschiha of “Brideshead Revisited“), at the risk of being denounced as a collaborator.

We have to confess the film had been under our radar, but the trailer looks pretty solid. The supporting cast includes Michael Sheen, Kimberley Nixon and “Misfits” star Iwan Rheon, and first-time director Amit Gupta looks to have wrung some decent production value out of what was likely a fairly meager budget. But we’ve got one concern here. The film hits in only a couple of months, but it surprisingly wasn’t selected for the BFI London Film Festival, which normally would be a perfect launching pad in the U.K. for something like this. An oversight? Or a sign that it’s a well-cut trailer and little else? We’ll find out when Metrodome releases the film in the U.K. on November 25th.

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Neal Scroggs

There are two kinds of “alternate history” stories — those that derive from plausible scenarios and those that border on science fiction or more accurately fantasy. Plausible ALT HISTORY would be a story that would really complicate the subsequent history with only one change to real events, for example the Japan’s decision to attack the US in December 1941. That decision could have gone the other way. The Japanese could have gone straight for the oil of Java and Borneo and not involved the Americans. Poor ALT requires time travel, like Harry Turtledove’s novels, or assumes multiple changes of real events to set the scene like this Resistance movie. Amit Gupta needlessly sets this story in 1944, which requires the D-Day invaders and the Red Army to fail, not bloody likely. Didn’t Gutpa read any history? The Nazis had a real, however slight, chance to invade Britain in the summer of 1940 and never again after that, specifically because Hitler shifted the bulk of his forces eastward in preparation for his attack on Russia in June 1941. Just change the prologue and the improbable fantasy becomes probable fiction; and trade the late-war Wehrmacht uniforms for correct 1940 kit if realism is important (Though it appears not to be important to Amit Gupta, he uses a Russian T-62 to represent a Tiger or Panther.)

Col Gubbins

Learn more about the REAL Welsh resistance here


tv movie of the week and do we really need yet another movie about the nazis?. Looks like a lot of bad acting too.


Could be okay, but very small-scale. Isn’t the fault of the filmmakers, as that’s the story they set out to tell, but I’d have loved to see an epic big-budget film based on the same premise – with Germans marching into London, occupying the Houses of Parliament, etc. That would have been interesting.


How can a example of “hacky” science fiction become an “acclaimed novel”?

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