Testament of Youth is a British drama film, released in the UK in January 2015, which is based on the First World War memoir of the same name written by Vera Brittain.
At the beginning of the book, Vera Brittain describes how she originally intended to write of her experiences as a novel but was unable to achieve the necessary objective distance from her subject. She then tried to publish her original diary from the war years but with all names fictionalised. This too proved unworkable. Finally she decided to write her own personal story, putting her own experiences in the wider historic and social context: an autobiographical memoir with documents (letters and poems written by the protagonists) and intellectual digressions.
Several critics have noted the cathartic process by which she deals with her grief at the loss of young men close to her - her brother Edward Brittain, her fiancé Roland Leighton, her friends Victor Richardson and Geoffrey Thurlow - in the writing.
The narrative begins with Vera's plans to enter the University of Oxford and her romance with Roland Leighton, a friend of her brother Edward. Both were commissioned as officers early in World War I, and both were subsequently killed, as were several other members of their social circle.