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Customer Review

on 21 July 2008
It can be difficult to explain to someone why you would want to watch a war movie. Everyone is all too aware of the suffering, and WWII in particular has surely been covered from all angles several times over by now. So why would you want to watch people going through hell? What is to be taken from that? Some people are merely looking for a historical version of Star Wars, black and white - good vs evil. Others, a peculiar bunch, are obsessed by weaponary, military doctrine and accuracy, and delight in seeing this portrayed on screen. You may want to learn about a hitherto unknown conflict, or you may struggle to fathom just how normal, every day people are able to plough on in the face of utter chaos and survive. I fall into the last two categories, and this movie does an excellent job of covering a conflict that is not well known in this country, and in showing how a small cadre of Australian reservist troops survived in unyielding, grim environmental, tropical conditions on Papua New Guinea. I was not aware that Japan had come so close to launching an invasion of Australia, and that a thin line of inexperienced and poorly equipped troops played such a part in holding them back. The Japanese are barely shown in this film, bar some barbarous torture, and you do not see their faces and there are few scenes of actual combat. So the focus is on the Australians and how they cope with sickness, lack of food or sleep, and the terrible weather. The film succeeds admirably in both telling a story of the bravery of the Australian troops in general, and in how a small group of men overcame the horrendous conditions to survive. I found it a moving portrayal and would recommend it to anyone interested in how people cope with war.
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