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.