Asunder tells the story of what happened to a quintessential British town during the First World War, with virtually all of its men abroad fighting and its women and children left behind. The North East was in the front line, thanks to its shipyards and munitions factories.
Using archive and contemporary footage and audio, Asunder reveals the stories of people from Tyneside and Wearside to uncover just what life was like on the home front – with bombs falling on Britain for the first time, conscientious objectors sentenced to death, and women working as doctors, tram conductors and footballers, some of them (God forbid) wearing trousers. Moving from the pre-war Edwardian golden era when cricket, football, and rugby boomed, and aeroplanes and cars pointed to a bright new future – only to see this progress horrifically reverse through the early years of the war. This culminated in the Battle of the Somme when on 1 July 1916 British, French and German forces began one of the most traumatic battles in military history. Over the course of just four months, more than one million soldiers were captured, wounded or killed in the Battle, a confrontation of unimaginable horror. Asunder will commemorate 100 years since the Somme.
A film by Esther Johnson with a soundtrack by Sunderland’s Mercury-nominated Field Music and Newcastle’s Warm Digits, who will perform live with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and The Cornshed Sisters. The creative producer for the project is writer and musician Bob Stanley.