There's been a lot of fuss about the Sainsbury's Christmas advert depicting the Christmas 1914 truce between the British and Germans in The Great War. A lot of it negative, accusing Sainbury's of capitalising on the horrors of war for financial gain. Critics also say the uniforms are too squeaky-clean and nothing like the blood- and guts-covered mess the real soldiers faced. Come on, this an advert not an accurate blockbuster trying to scoop up an Oscar. The point of the advert was surely not its accuracy to detail but the overall mesage that in the middle of horror, humans can rise above that to be nice to one another. Surely the true spirit of Christmas. Also, unless I am very naive, when all's said and done, aren't all adverts for financial gain?
As one who had grandfathers on both sides of that war, I do not find the advert in the least offensive and it comes a week after I saw the BBC series The Passing Bells, which I thoroughly enjoyed (if that is the right word) for its portrayal of two young boys on opposite sides, from ordinary families, dragged into a war they didn't understand and quickly wanting out of it. The Germans as a race weren't evil, any more than the British were. The soldiers on both sides were just puppets dancing to the tune of their masters. If you haven't seen it, it The Passing Bells is still available on bbc-iplayer or on DVD.