Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 31 January 2020 >

The new World War I drama from director Sam Mendes, 1917, unfolds in real-time, tracking a pair of British soldiers as they cross the Western Front on a desperate rescue mission. Soldiers Blake and Schofield  must travel nine miles across the treacherous war zone to deliver orders to stop a regiment attacking enemy lines within the next 24 hours. If they fail to do so, 1,600 British lives will be lost, including Blake’s brother.

Sam Mendes was inspired by his grandfather, Alfred Mendes, who fought in the First World War (1916-1918, he joined up at just 17). He told his grandchildren stories that weren’t stories of heroism but more stories of luck and chance.

This trailer (below) is a good addition to Shine Bright 1e Advanced File 18 “War will not tear us apart”. It can also be used with the Speakeasy Files 3e Euro sequence on heroism in wartime.

Vocabulary and structures

  • Humans at war: human bonds / feelings / combat
  • Past simple & past be + V-ing
  • modals (obligation, necessity, advice)
  • the passive voice


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icon 1917 B1-B2 Pupil Worksheet

icon 1917 B1-B2 Teacher's Notes

icon 1917 B1-B2 Download all the files in one Zip.