The annual NCA festive afternoon tea and film at the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle, has become a regular feature in our calendar. This year, 19 members and guests gathered for the occasion, on Saturday, December 9, and were treated to a digital fire, Christmas decorations, a magnificent spread of sandwiches, scones and cakes, and a film. Fortified by prosecco to begin with, as well as popcorn during the performance, we watched ‘Joyeux Noel’ (2005), a seasonally suitable film, and one also relevant in light of the centenary commemorations of the First World War. The film was directed by the French film director, Christian Carion, and was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category in 2006. It is about the unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front in December 1914, and is a fictionalised version of an actual event that took place, when Wilhelm, German Crown Prince, sent the lead singer of the Berlin Imperial Opera company on a solo visit to the front line. Singing by the tenor, Walter Kirchhoff, to the 120th and 124th Württemberg regiments led French soldiers in their trenches to stand up and applaud. The resulting truce is depicted through the eyes of French (subtitled), British (Scottish) and German (subtitled) soldiers, and the experience of seeing it left few of us with a dry eye. Click photo thumbnail to enlarge.