Review of the just released “Walking with Destiny”
By Judy Kambestad
Irvine (Orange County), CA. November 7 – Filmmaker Richard Trank selected the years 1940 and 1941 for his film, Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny. These years, according to Trank, were Churchill’s finest. He saved England and the rest of the free world in 1940 by not losing the war with Hitler that year, but by opposing Hitler with his ‘bulldoggedness’. Walking With Destiny takes the viewer through these two years; the originally reluctant King to accept Churchill as his war leader, the Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax oppositions, Churchill’s pleas to President Roosevelt for support and FDR’s reluctance and then lend-lease, Hitler’s parades and speeches, and finally December 7, 1941, that brought the United States into the war.
Walking With Destiny is a finely edited and narrated documentary with some familiar film and some never seen before. The poignancy of the King and Queen inspecting London after a particularly terrible bombing; Churchill with ‘Clemmie’ uplifting the spirits of citizens among the ruins of bombed buildings viewers have seen before, but they are still just as emotionally strong and needed to tell the story. Churchill’s relationship with Petain and the Vichy government followed by the bombing of the French fleet is shown and how heavy that decision lay on Churchill. The story and agony of crossing the Channel and back from Dunkirk is vivid. But it is the film of a bombed London that the viewer will remember.
Celia Sandys and Winston Churchill’s comments bring warm, friendly authentic moments, and relief, from war scenes to the story. Ben Kingsley superbly narrates. Sir Martin Gilbert provides historic accuracy; his narrations tell the story behind the story. The movie goers in the theater gave a loud ovation at the end. Richard Trank answered questions until time for the next showing and had to continue Q&A in the lobby of the theater. Highly recommend for all Churchillians.