Outrage as ‘grossly insensitive’ Nazi battle scenes are filmed in Oxfordshire village for Brad Pitt’s new film… during Remembrance Sunday services
DailyMail: Producers of Brad Pitt’s new movie provoked outrage when they filmed Nazi war scenes in an English village early in the morning on Remembrance Sunday.
American director David Ayer staged pre-dawn explosions in Shirburn, Oxfordshire and had extras act out battle scenes dressed as Nazis as the rest of the UK readied itself to honour the nation’s fallen heroes.
Bosses behind the film, Fury, reportedly refused to stop filming over the weekend, despite a plea from the nearby Watlington Parish Council.
Producers sent residents leaflets last month warning them to expect gunfire and explosions, but it was not known that they would continue filming on Remembrance Sunday.
Council chairman Ian Hill told the Daily Mirror: ‘Whoever is responsible is insensitive. A letter has been sent to express our feelings of how inappropriate it was for Sherman tanks to be rolling across the countryside while explosions were being let off. Local people are very angry.‘
Some extras have said they felt uncomfortable at having to dress as Nazis on the day devoted to remembering the war dead, but were unable to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.
Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said the decision to film was disrespectful.
‘At the very time a nation pays tribute to those who gave their lives to stop Nazis rampaging across our land it seems grossly insensitive to impose such scenes on villagers,’ he told the Mirror.
‘A director whose film is profiting from the sacrifices made by 800,000 British and American soldiers in the Second World War has a duty to ensure his crew are allowed to pause to pay proper respect to the dead.’
Shadow Defence Minister Kevan Jones said: ‘I’m astonished producers would not consider it to be inappropriate to film such scenes on Remembrance Sunday. And it is outrageous appeals from locals to reconsider plans to film on such an occasion were ignored.’
Twitter users reacted with anger after news of the filming came to light – one described the incident as showing ‘lack of tact and consideration.’
Producer Sony has not commented on the controversy.
Ayer apologized tweeting, “My heartfelt apologies for any disrespect on Remembrance Day. I am a veteran myself. It is an honor to film here in the UK.”
Fury, which tells the story of American soldiers operating behind enemy lines in the closing weeks of the war, is due to be released next year.
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