The tragedy of war poignantly unfolds in this cinematic retelling of Vera Brittain’s 1933 antiwar memoir. At the outbreak of World War One, Vera (played by Alicia Vikander) is a young, upper class lady determined to join the war effort as her brother and fiance Roland (played by Game of Thrones’ Kit Harrington) are sent off to fight. Testament of Youth (2015) is the critically acclaimed autobiographical coming-of-age story of how Vera abandons her studies at Oxford University to become a war nurse and tend to wounded servicemen. Yorkshire’s timeless landscapes and heritage features were rendered for the film’s wartime scenes from the home front.
The bleakness of the North York Moors around Egton was shot for nostalgia scenes depicting Vera’s younger years at the beginning of the film. The steam engines and vintage stations of the North York Moors Railway also make an appearance, and the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway was used in the scene where Roland and Vera say their farewells. The dramatic cliff-backed beach at Robin Hood’s Bay was the backdrop for the section when Roland returns from the front.