'Turned Towards The Sun'
(Michael Burn M.C., et al / DVD / R / (2012) 2015 / MVD Visual)
Overview: If the astonishing true-life story of British writer and poet Micky Burn MC had been written as a novel, readers would readily accept it as invented. 'Turned Towards The Sun' retells that very same story visually, and as candidly as possible, which allows the film to become a rather fitting eulogy to a quite remarkable figure.
DVD Verdict: Born in Mayfair in 1912, Michael "Micky" Burn M.C.'s father worked for the Royal family. In 1942, he took part in a daring commando assault on the fortified French port of St Nazaire, where he was captured, and he ended the war a POW in Colditz. He would latterly become a committed Marxist and be credited with saving the life of Audrey Hepburn!
American director Greg Olliver, who has previously documented the life of rock star Lemmy, started making 'Turned Towards The Sun' way back in 2008, revisiting significant events and places in Burn's life. Indeed, and thankfully, as it enhances this film incredibly, Burn is presented here as a candid and witty raconteur, with a sharp mind and vivid recollections.p>
Sadly, Burn died in 2010, but what 'Turned Towards The Sun' brings to life is the actual life of Michael "Micky" Burn M.C. We learn that when World War II came, Burn was at once called up. He volunteered for the independent companies, formed from men willing to undertake exceptional risks, upon their formation, 1939–40. Having served in Norway in 1940, as part of the unsuccessful Allied campaign to counter the German invasion, Burn joined a new elite force known as the Commandos.
In March 1942, as a Captain in command of number 6 Troop, No. 2 Commando, he took part in Operation Chariot, the St. Nazaire Raid, his own 6 Troop contributing 29 men to the overall total of 264 Army personnel taking part. As leader of the starboard column of troop-carrying Motor Launches, Burn's ML192 was one of the first vessels to come under fire, crashing, ablaze, into the Old Mole. Having been hauled ashore by one of his men and in spite of being wounded several times, Burn made his way to his target, the only member of his team to succeed in doing so.
Of his 6 Troop contingent, carried in several MLs, 14 were killed and the rest, many of whom had had to take to the water, captured early on. Burn later attempted to escape the tightening German cordon along with two of his men, one of whom was killed in the attempt. Burn, along with his remaining companion, was captured, entering what would be a lengthy period of confinement as a "guest of the Reich".
For his actions during the raid Burn received the award of the Military Cross. From the total of 609 soldiers and sailors to enter the Loire estuary that fateful night, five would be awarded the Victoria Cross – the greatest number for any single action during the war.
With regard his time at Colditz, following his capture Burn was sent to Marlag und Milag Nord, a naval POW camp that was the destination of all Charioteers prior to the separation of Commando and Royal Navy personnel. He was then incarcerated in Spangenberg Castle, Oflag IX-A/H, and there began giving lectures to fellow POWs before being sent to Colditz Castle, Oflag IV-C. There, shorthand learnt for previous employment in journalism meant Burn acted as scribe to Colditz's secret radio operator, Lieutenant-Colonel Jimmy Yule.
On liberation, Burn sent dispatches to The Times about what had gone on in Colditz, published in the newspaper on 19th and 21st April 1945. Indeed, Burn had even written a novel during his stay, which was published as Yes, Farewell in 1946. So, if all this has whetted your appetite to know more about the great man, Michael Burn M.C., if I were you I wouldn't hesitate in buying this INCREDIBLE DVD today. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Trailer: Funny Micky Out-Takes
Tour of Nazaire Raid Site
Tour of Micky's Home