George Orwell: A Life in Pictures uses a bold and original approach to put him on the screen. Chris Langham plays the writer and every word he speaks is as written by Orwell himself. But the pictures are all 'invented' - a specially created 'archive' because there's not a single frame of archive footage of Orwell in existence. Not even one word or one of his trademark hacking coughs on recorded audio. All that is left is one oil painting and a couple of hundred photographs. By bringing to life his extraordinary treasure trove of writing - nine books and some eight thousand pages of journalism, essays, diaries and letters - the film creates a unique dramatised biography of Orwell. Written essays become authored documentary films shot in the style of the day; events described in diaries are 'captured' on home movies; and Movietone footage is manipulated to reveal Orwell in the trenches of the Spanish Civil War. From Eton and Burma to London and Paris, Orwell's writing - poignant and polemical, scathing and sometimes just funny - is at last caught on film.
George Orwell on BBC Arena