The centenary of Benjamin Britten is marked with a new study by the multi-
award-winning director Tony Palmer. It is a dark coda to Palmer's four other Italia-Prize-winning films with and about Britten, whom many now regard as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.
This extraordinary film explores Britten's uneasy relationship to the wider world.
The bloodiest century in history profoundly affected Britten, not just because he was a committed pacifist, but on a much deeper level. What is the role of the artist in such a troubled world? What are his responsibilities? What is the nature of creativity itself? What is its function? Does it have a function? Man's inhumanity to Man now, and always. This is the subject matter which preoccupied Britten and that is the subject of this film.