The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May and was acquired after making its North American debut at the New York Film Festival. Variety’s Scott Foundas said in his Cannes review that the film was a “return to form” for Boorman.
Boorman, 81, noted that the film reflects his own experiences in the Korean War. The Bill Rowan character appears in both 1987’s “Hope and Glory” and “Queen and Country.”
“’Hope and Glory’ was based on my childhood memories of the London Blitz in World War Two,” he said. “This one draws on my experience at 18 of conscription in the army where I trained young lads to fight in the Korean War. The military was both brutal and comic. I discovered that falling in love with the wrong girl could inflict more pain than the army.”
The film is set in the early 1950s and details the bittersweet rites of passage of the protagonist, portrayed by Turner, who is called up for National Service in the British Army. Instead of being shipped off to Korea, he lands a desk job as a typing instructor for a regulation-fixated sergeant.
The deal was negotiated between BBC Worldwide North America and distributor Le Pacte on behalf of Merlin Films.