The year is 1944, and the world is plunged deep in world war II. When the Allies decide to undertake a cross-channel assault on the Nazis, Normandy becomes destined to be the eye of the storm. The landing of 5000-vessels and a 1200 aircraft strong bombing assault follow. Normandy bears witness to the landing of over 160,000 Allied troops from across the channel on a single day and over two million troops in three months. Our story is of a padre or a military chaplain, respected and loved by everyone in his unit. Compassionate and friendly, the Padre goes about his tasks, undeterred by the difficult circumstances he is operating in. Padre organizes communions for the soldiers on shelled out lawns in the ruins of an enemy village. He anoints the sick, performs the last rites of the dead and gives solace to the wounded. Padre takes upon himself to be the pillar of spiritual strength for the entire unit. When circumstances bring Padre in contact with soldiers from the other side, do the colours of his uniform come in the way of his duties towards God?
‘Padre’ is a short script from writer ‘Ian Davies’. This little war-time story takes place during one of the many skirmishes of the Battle of Normandy when the Allied forces launched their invasion, ‘Padre’ tells the story of a Military Chaplain who takes it upon himself to safeguard the souls that have been marred in the fighting. Ian takes his time in building up the character traits of the padre, through various sequences in the camp, the hospital and the battleground, paying sufficient attention to the little details. He cleverly manipulates the situations in which the Padre finds himself, to reveal that no matter which side appears to be on top, losses are inevitable.
Padre’ shows how similar the foot soldiers on both sides of the battle are. No matter the outcome, the only guaranteed aftermath of war is destruction, suffering and misery. And for those like Padre, working towards making this barbaric exercise more humane, ‘Padre’ raises the question whether the colour of the uniform should determine one’s empathy to another human being.