The Dig (2021)
Sometimes, you just have to ask yourself: how come I know about this, even though it happened in 1939? We watched The Dig last night on Netflix. The sense of deja vu was extreme, at least for me. I’m putting that feeling down to watching Detectorists.
There are many great things about this film, not the least of which is the treasure that they found. But the fact that it’s based on a true story makes it even more remarkable.
There were a couple of details that were hinted at, by never explicitly shown that might make this story a bit more interesting for some. One thing is the ‘feeling’ that Edith had about which earth mound to dig out. What was not shown was that Edith may have been consulting with the ‘other side’. At the grave side of her husband’s remains, she can be seen speaking aloud, but we do not hear the words. The other thing is the sudden change of mind that Basil has after being buried alive by a land slip: once he’s resuscitated, he decides that the mound Edith wanted to work on first is the right one. I suspect his NDE may have given him an insight into which one had the treasure.
The juxtaposition of the upcoming WWII with a race to uncover the ship’s remains gave the slow-burning story line some added oomph. And the younger people in the story knew their lives might never be the same again after the dig, so everything took on a special poignancy. We are not told at the story’s end what happened to them.
The use of dialog in this film gives an almost out-of-body-experience for the viewer. Most of the time, we watch two people sitting together in silence but having a heartfelt conversation (as if we’re listening to their thoughts). As this happened several times with different people, I can only surmise that it was the director’s decision to do so.
The film does a very decent job of recounting the story, without crossing any lines. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wonders what history is really all about.