Horrors must not be forgotten, says actor Jack O'Connell at screening of new film
"WHEN people see this film, I hope they find it harrowing. It is only by documenting the facts that we keep the memories alive."
These were the words of Jack O'Connell before he introduced the showing of First World War film Private Peaceful at Quad – to a sell-out audience on Remembrance Day.
It is second time the Alvaston actor has been invited to open one of his movies at the Derby arts centre and he said doing it was of "twice the importance" to him.
Private Peaceful was based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo, whose book, War Horse, was also adapted for the big screen.
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It is set during the First World War in the fields of Devon and on the battlefields of Flanders. Jack, 22, plays Charlie Peaceful, one of two brothers who go off to war.
Jack said: "It was a no-brainer for me to come and introduce the film – not only is it a lead film for me but it is also full of memory and truth. The fact it is Remembrance Day as well means the memories won't die.
"I became attached to Charlie Peaceful during the filming because what starts as a nice family tale in Devon becomes one of war affecting his and his family's life and the director is good at touching on the stark contrast.
"And the war is not diluted in this film – through the art and media of today, it is possible to show the reality of it. It's wonderful Quad has selected to show this film and I was honoured to come and introduce it."
Quad's deputy director Adam Buss said it was fitting to have Jack at the screening. He said: "The film has already been very popular.
"But I think the combination of Jack coming along and the fact the screening was on Remembrance Day was the reason it was sold out. It is good for us to celebrate the success of people like Jack and everything he has achieved.
"We have also been working with the Royal British Legion and it was a nice continuation of that."
Among the 118 people who went to see the film last night was Chris Lowe, 29, of Radbourne Street, Derby.
He said: "It's lovely to see a war film on a day like Remembrance Day – it gives it special importance. It's great Quad has Jack introducing the film. He grew up where I live and it's nice to see him."
Pat Gardner, 62, of Buxton Hall Court, Kirk Ireton, who was with husband Paul, 65, said: "Having Jack introduce the film made coming more enticing but we also enjoy Michael Morpurgo's work."
And Eleanor Crowther, 12, of Cobden Street, Ripley, said: "The book is one of my favourites so I thought it would be poignant and interesting to come and see the film."