Masterpiece Classic: “Birdsong”
In the ruinous trenches of northern France, Lieutenant Stephen Wraysford (Eddie Redmayne, My Week with Marilyn, Richard II) barely seems to register the death and destruction all around him. His eyes are fixed instead on his drawings and his deck of cards, and his mind is focused on the memory of his one love, Isabelle Azaire (Clémence Poesy, 127 Hours, Harry Potter).
For Stephen, events unfolding on the Allied front in 1916 are eclipsed by his memories of the summer of 1910, when he met Isabelle in Amiens. When Isabelle leaves her oppressive husband René (Laurent Lafitte), the two lovers share a blissful existence that seems to make up for a lifetime of loneliness and isolation for Stephen. But their idyll is cut short when Isabelle leaves without explanation. Stephen battles the Germans on the front six years later, as he also battles his own internal grief and confusion over his loss.
Adapted by Abi Morgan (Iron Lady, The Hour) from the Sebastian Faulks novel, Birdsong tells the story of Stephen’s awakening to love and his determination to reclaim it.
In 1910, Englishman Stephen Wraysford goes to France to study textile manufacturing and falls in love with a factory owner’s bewitching wife, Isabelle. Amid the shellfire of the Western Front in 1916, his memories of the past haunt him.
Sunday, April 22, 2012, 9:00 p.m. WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS
Stephen and his men go over the top in one of the bloodiest battles ever recorded, the Battle of the Somme. Will he survive and will he be reunited with Isabelle, the Frenchwoman he loved before the war?
Sunday, April 29, 2012, 9:00 p.m. WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS