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Customer Review

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars moving and vivid, 12 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Gallipoli - Sce [DVD] (DVD)
This is a film I have seen several times since it was first issued, and it has always packed a considerable emotional punch. It tells of the accidental friendship of two young Australians, one from a comfortable farming background, the other rather from the other side of the tracks, brought together by their talent as sprinters. Both join up and are transported first to Egypt and then to the Dardanelles. There, at Gallipoli, they play out the last stage of their friendship in the inferno of bullet and shellfire which met the Anzac troops. The film is amusing in places, very characterful, visually very beautiful. The soundtrack seems to me appropriate ; I don't find it dated at all, and the classical pieces fit the sometimes sombre mood and the touching portrayal of the Australian officer who celebrates his wedding anniversary by playing old records of the famous Pearl Fishers' duet. I used to use this film a bit in a film studies course in the school in which I taught and it always left the teenagers silent and thoughtful ; it certainly touched them. Highly recommended.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Jul 2013 13:30:27 BDT
streetyson says:
I was sorry to read you actually used this piece of drivel for your students, but guess you weren't to know. For it isn't even remotely historically accurate of the battle, and it very falsely portrays the British, and falsely portrays the British as putting the Aussies in the deep do-do whilst having a relaxing time themselves. If you want an honest recounting then watch the History Channel's excellent "Gallipoli from Above" by Aussie historian Hugh Dolan. And show that to any students in future. The Aussies did all their own planning, air-recon and plans of attack and not just sent off to die while the Brits drank tea.

The film also falsely portrays the Anzacs as mostly good-ol' diggers (with modern Aussie accents) from the Australian outback, that were all looked down on by the British top-brass. When in fact, according to British historian Hew Strachan, the majority were 1st (and some 2nd) generation British immigrants to Australian and New Zealand cities, and so many would have spoken in British accents and still seen themselves as British, and signed up to do their patriotic duty for the motherland. It was only retrospectively and as a result of many WW1 units' heroics that a truly separate sense of military and national identity for the Aussies, Kiwis and Canadians was forged - and not really before (see "The Trench Detectives" Canadian-made documentary series, shown on History channel etc). And all were well treated and respected by British top-brass and tommies alike, regardless of how long removed they'd been from their British roots.

The film is essentially just a rubbishy piece of untrue anti-British propoganda and far, far removed from an honest or accurate account. A few of the remaining WW1 Brit veterans of Gallipoli who saw the film's British debut (as I remember they were interviewed on the news afterward) felt kinship for their Anzac brothers-in-arms but felt insulted by the film.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jul 2013 21:26:56 BDT
hillbank68 says:
Thank you for your clearly deeply-felt comments.
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