James Bond faces criticism over ‘cynical’ funeral scenes
London: Sam Mendes, the director of next James Bond flick ‘Skyfall’, is being condemned for including scenes of military funeral repatriations apparently inspired by a town in England, Royal Wootton Bassett.
The scenes, which feature the bodies of eight servicemen killed overseas being repatriated and driven in a funeral cortege past hundreds of mourners lining the streets, worry the Royal British Legion, a leading daily has reported.
“The last thing we want is a glitzy film,” said Royal Wootton Bassett spokesman.
“Attending the repatriations started as a pure and simple tribute. How are the mothers and fathers of the fallen soldiers going to feel when they see this on the big screen? It is cashing in on people’s grief and is just cynical.”
James Gray, the MP whose North Wiltshire constituency includes Royal Wootton Bassett, asserted that the scenes have been inspired by the town.
“Prior to the Iraq war, soldiers were buried in the countries where they fell,” he said.
“When the repatriations started passing through Wootton Bassett is when great crowds began to attend.”
Roger Smith, a funeral director brought in to participate in the scenes, said that he was shocked by the filmmakers’ ignorance.
“The annoying thing was that the directors didn’t seem aware of the protocol for English funerals,” he said.
“They wanted to do a Wootton Bassett-type scene, but had no master of ceremonies in front of the cortege to give the right speed. It was a real shame, a missed opportunity,” Smith added.