SJ is on a quest to bury the ashes of her great grandfather, a conscientious objector during the First World War.


Starring Theo Barklem-Biggs and Isis Davis, Bloodyminded was the UK's first interactive live streamed feature film, shot in a single take and broadcast online and to cinemas across Europe - once and once only in October 2018. Guided by the narrator, Harold, viewers were asked to consider their own relationship with violence - as individuals and as members of a society that continues to wage wars on our behalf.

To find out more about the film, the research behind it, and to watch excerpts go to the project website.

SJ breaks into an army base to bury the ashes of her great-grandfather, Harold, a conscientious objector during the First World War. Inside, surrounded by soldiers and the ghosts of past wars, she finds a place where her certainty begins to falter.

Harold is a character developed from a real life conscientious objector called Harold Steele, whose story scriptwriter Matt Adams discovered during his research at The Imperial War Museum. The story also draws on interviews with British Army veterans who generously shared their experiences of training, frontline combat, banter, bullying and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“…live cinema is now a significant sector within the global cinema ecosystem…Blast Theory continue to push these boundaries further with the politically and historically charged narrative Bloodyminded.”
Professor Helen Kennedy and Dr Sarah Atkinson

Transmitted live from an army base, Bloodyminded brought together team members from across broadcast and cinema, including Executive Producer Anna Higgs (20,000 Days on Earth, High-Rise, A Field in England), Cinematographer Ruben Woodin Dechamps (music videos for Radiohead and Bonobo) and award-winning casting agent Shaheen Baig  (A Monster Calls, God’s Own Country, Peaky Blinders).

Artists’ Note

Matt Adams, 2018

A live film like this is exciting and unpredictable. From the beginning of Blast Theory we’ve mixed the energy of clubs and gigs with challenging ideas. We create situations where there are no guarantees about what might happen next and you have a direct role in shaping the future. Right now, young people are grasping the moment to create change; whether after the school shootings in Florida or by stopping a plane deporting a refugee in Sweden. Inspired by the conscientious objectors of the First World War, in Bloodyminded we want to take that energy into a story about fighting and bravery.

Bloodyminded was co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.

Presented online by Boiler Room’s 4:3. Created with support from the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union, The Space and Polden-Puckham. Media Partner, Pathfinder International.

14-18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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