After the film, take the footpath down into Arromanches itself - it has beautiful views of the town.
The nine screens of the Arromanches 360 cinema literally surround you with the history of the Allies’ 100 day campaign in Normandy, and the result is both immersive and powerful. The building itself perches dramatically on top of the Arromanches cliffs, from where you can look down towards the sea and take in one of the two artificial Mulberry Harbours used by the Allies to land successfully in the swell. A combined trip to the cinema and the beach where the remains of the harbour rest is a perfect day out for anyone with an interest in this period of history.
The Magnificent Eleven
The film itself is a serious achievement, both of artistic expression and of historical record. It draws together British, French, American, Canadian and German footage, most of it previously unseen, in a 19 minute account of one of what was arguably WW2’s most pivotal episode. It begins by detailing the horrific D-Day landings. Here special tribute is paid to Robert Capa, one of a few brave photographers who came ashore with the first waves of Allied troops. Under continuous and heavy enemy fire, he captured a series of images which have come to be known as “The Magnificent Eleven”.
You can watch the weeks drag on as the Allied offensive pushes deeper and deeper into Normandy, with the German divisions being gradually and inexorably worn down. A lot of attention is rightly given to the innocent bystanders who lost their lives during this time. Around 15,000 French civilians are estimated to have died in northern Normandy during the pre-invasion bombing campaign alone, with the same number again perishing during the ground campaign itself. This film is a deeply moving testament to them, and to the soldiers who liberated France.
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