‘Attack on Sorpe Dam’ – New film screening
Header image: A scene from the new film ‘Attack on Sorpe Dam’, with George “Johnny” Johnson, the Lancaster bomb aimer and the film narrator. (Publicity stills courtesy of Piotr Forkasiewicz)
A new film by producers Andrew Panton and Piotr Forkasiewicz is set to premiered in May to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the famous ‘Dams Raid’. ‘Attack on Sorpe Dam’ is narrated by George “Johnny” Johnson who, as a young 21-year-old Lancaster bomb aimer, was part of a 617 Squadron ‘Dambusters’ crew which attacked the dam on the night of 16-17th May 1943. Johnny provides a first-hand account of his story, from joining 617 Squadron for a top secret, special operation that has the potential to shorten the war in Europe, the dangerous low flying training and events leading up to the operation, the attack on the Sorpe dam and the devastating aftermath of the Dambuster’s operation.
For the first time there is a film which features the complete story of how Johnny Johnson and his aircrew attacked the Sorpe dam, covering the journey to the dam, the attack and the return journey back to RAF Scampton. The film clarifies some of the lesser-known facts about how the Sorpe dam required a completely different method of attack than that employed against the Möhne and Eder dams. Johnny reveals just how challenging this was, as they had not practiced for it. The amazing computer-generated visual effects exactly match the narrative, helping the audience to really understand and experience the events as Johnny describes them.
The producers worked with Johnny Johnson for seven years to create the film. As the film neared completion Johnny said: “After all these years I feel a great sense of satisfaction that there is now a film dedicated to the attack on the Sorpe dam. A film that covers the complete story from the time Lancaster AJ-T took off from RAF Scampton, to the time the aircraft returned after the operation. I feel proud to have been able to represent the men I flew with and to tell the story as it actually happened. Within the broader context of the ‘Dambusters’ story I am pleased to see a film that helps people understand that there was rather more to the ‘Dams Raid’ than the Mohne and Eder dams, although they were of equal importance and just as difficult to attack. It has been quite a journey over the past few years to work on the film, I have reflected many times on what actually happened on the night of 16-17th May 1943. I am very grateful for the work that Andrew Panton, Piotr Forkasiewicz and many others have done. Their work has preserved my story in film for many years to come and this will allow future generations to learn about how Lancaster AJ-T attacked the Sorpe dam.” Sadly, Johnny Johnson, the last surviving ‘Dambuster’, died on 7th December 2022, shortly after his 101st birthday.
This new cinema grade film will have its premiere in the 300-seat IMAX screen theatre at the Bristol Aquarium in Bristol on Saturday 13th May (tickets available via Eventbrite.co.uk). It will also be shown at The Kinema in the Woods, Woodhall Spa, to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the ‘Dams Raid’, on Tuesday 16th May at 1400 and at 1900, and also on Wednesday 17th May at the same times. The 60-minute film will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A session with the film’s director Andrew Panton and visual effects creator Piotr Forkasiewicz. (Booking is advisable via this link).
Click here to view a trailer for the film.