Writer of The Railway Man answers your questions

editorial image

Buckingham’s independent cinema, The Film Place, has a special event on Friday, May 23, when the producer and co-writer of The Railway Man will attend a screening of the film.

Andy Paterson will introduce the film, which stars Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, and answer questions afterwards.

Based on an autobiography by Eric Lomax, The Railway Man tells the true story of a British Army officer who experiences horrific torture as a prisoner of war in a Japanese labour camp during the Second World War following the fall of Singapore.

Decades later, Lomax discovers that the Japanese interpreter he holds responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront and kill him.

Lomax is played as a young man by Jeremy Irvine and as an older man by Colin Firth.

Mr Paterson first met Lomax two years after the book was published but it was to take 14 years before the film was completed.

Mr Paterson said: “We read the book and we were astonished by the story, how a man could go from wanting to kill someone to finding forgiveness. This whole thing is a story that was never told because the people who came back couldn’t talk about it.

“These men were sent to Singapore and they were told to surrender to an army that was conditioned to find that the greatest shame, and they suffered all these completely unjust troubles . The elements we’ve put in the film are a tiny, tiny percentage of what these men went through.”

And he added: “Somehow, the film helps people to undersantd that there can be damage you don’t know about. It doesn’t just apply to this particular conflict.

“I remember someone standing and saying: ‘I want to thank you for explaining my father to me.’”

Advance booking recommended. See www.thefilmplace.org.uk