THE WAR WITHIN explores the life and work of British novelist and critic Virginia Woolf, seen in context of the momentous events of her time, with particular attention to her experiences and insights about the roots of violence and oppression. Photographed amidst some of Britain's most beautiful scenery and at National Trust Houses, the film includes interviews with relatives, scholars and friends including Quentin Bell at Charleston, Angelica Garnett at Monk's House, Nigel Nicolson (son of Vita Sackville-West) at Sissinghurst castle, Bloomsbery member Frances Partridge, and the late writer Steven Spender.
With archival footage, paintings, and haunting family photos of a Victorian childhood of both beauty and abuse, the film interweaves the personal story of Virginia Woolf's life and loves with the events of her turbulent times. Rare documents, filmed for the first time, include the document in her handwriting that was used to establish the League of Nations, newly discovered letters to her beloved Vita, and the Gestapo list where she and Leonard were marked for arrest for their anti-fascist efforts.
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