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BFF21 The War Below

M 96 MIN
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A spirited film about the tunnelling and sabotage efforts at the battle of Messines during the First World War, The War Below is a fascinating drama based on true events.

In the midst of the Great War, British army colonel "Hellfire Jack" Norton-Griffiths (Tom Goodman-Hill, Humans, Rebecca) hatches a daring plan to break the deadly stalemate at the Battle of Messines in 1917. He proposes tunnelling underneath enemy lines from the Allied to the German trenches in the hopes of successfully setting off bombs from below the German line and saving the Allied war effort.

Norton-Griffiths recruits a crack squad of Yorkshire miners to dig a tunnel underneath no man's land, including pit-village miner William Hawkins (Sam Hazeldine, Peaky Blinders, The Innocents), but Field Marshal Haig (Douglas Reith, Downton Abbey) remains unconvinced.

Making his feature directorial debut, J.P. Watts creates an atmosphere of claustrophobia and tension, chaos and carnage in this enthralling account of the miners’ subterranean experience.


"A fascinating Great War side story and a gritty central turn from Sam Hazeldine."

- The Times

"The War Below has plenty of heart and does a good job at unearthing these forgotten heroes of World War I."

- Shakefire

"Overall Watts creates a good yarn."

- Sunday Times

Movie Information

Release date

Wednesday 3rd November


96 min




Tom Goodman-Hill, Kris Hitchen, Sam Hazeldine, Elliot James Langridge, Sam Clemmett


J.P. Watts


Film Festival



Participating Cinemas

Palace Balwyn Cinema, Palace James Street, Palace Barracks, Palace Norton St, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Verona, Palace Westgarth, Pentridge Cinema, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Electric, Palace Byron Bay, Palace Central Sydney, Kino Cinema, Palace Raine Square