Lancaster review: veterans’ memories of a mighty aircraft

How best to translate the visceral power of the Avro Lancaster to the screen?

That power manifests itself in two ways: literally, through the mighty four-Merlin sound, and figuratively, in terms of this aeroplane’s special meaning. Lancaster, the new 110-minute documentary film, succeeds on both counts.

As you will hopefully have read in the September 2021 Aeroplane, this is the latest offering from the creative team behind 2018’s highly acclaimed Spitfire: co-producers Trevor Beattie and Keith Haviland, directors David Fairhead and Ant Palmer, and director of aerial photography John Dibbs. In the basic sense, it follows a similar format. But Lancaster is, out of necessity, different. This is a story that takes in not just individual pilots, but entire crews; more than that, it encompasses the wider context without which no such documentary would be complete.

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