Film review: Fire in the Night - Anthony Wonke's documentary revisits the Piper Alpha fire


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The Independent Culture

On 6 July it will be 25 years since the Piper Alpha fire, the offshore oil disaster in which 167 men perished.

Anthony Wonke's documentary revisits the night in interviews with a handful of survivors, now in their fifties and sixties, some of them speaking about it for the first time.

Dramatic reconstructions of the conflagration and its unearthly noise – "a cacophony of hell", says one rescue worker – convey a little of the horror, but the most telling moments are in the suddenly moist eye or trembling mouth of men who escaped a fate that consumed their friends and colleagues.