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BYUtv has greenlighted a holiday movie inspired by firsthand accounts of a World War II bomber pilot who was captured and held as a prisoner of war in a German prison camp.
Instrument of War is set to air Nov. 23 on Brigham Young University’s Provo, Utah-based BYUtv, a commercial-free network available in 60 million households on Dish Network, DirecTV and cable systems.
The 90-minute telefilm was inspired by the story of Clair Cline, an American B-24 pilot captured and held at the German camp Stalag Luft I after being shot down over Nazi-occupied Holland during a bombing mission. He and fellow crewmembers struggled to keep themselves psychologically sound while living in captivity.
To help maintain his sanity and lift his fellow prisoners’ spirits, Cline — a self-taught musician — traded Red Cross rations with other prisoners and the guards to get the tools and supplies he needed to craft a violin using bunk bed slats, the leg of a chair, dried glue from the bottom of chairs and a shard of glass as a wood-carving tool. The homemade violin was completed in time for Christmas, and Cline became known throughout the camp for playing traditional carols on it.
The movie, filmed with the cooperation of the Cline family, includes excerpts from his wife’s diary that she kept throughout her husband’s captivity.
“We are proud to present Clair Cline’s inspiring story, which, perhaps more than any other program we’ve produced, helps us ‘see the good in the world,'” said Michael Dunn, managing director of BYUtv. “This dramatic feature-length film illustrates the unbearable physical and psychological conditions of life in a POW camp, and conveys the bravery, psychological strength, creativity, courage, generosity and positivity that Cline demonstrated to create a sense of hope amongst his fellow prisoners.”
Filmed in Lithuania, Instrument of War was produced by Provo-based Kaleidoscope Pictures for BYUtv. The movie was directed by Adam Thomas Anderegg, produced by Russ Kendall and edited by Mike Bradshaw. The original music was created by Oscar-winning composer Mark Isham.
BYUtv’s original programming slate also includes sketch comedy series Studio C, reality show Relative Race hidden-camera show Random Acts and the upcoming sci-fi series Extinct.
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