2004, 3 x 45 Minutes
This is the story of Australia and New Zealand at war as never seen before. For the first time, only original colour footage is used to paint a vividly detailed picture of these closely allied nations, from the build up to World War Two to the end of the Vietnam conflict. Newly discovered films and home movies along with diary and letter extracts allow viewers a very personal connection with the war experience, both on the battlefield and on the homefront. In colour, that shared history becomes even more intimate and involving. Narrated by Russell Crowe, this powerful and moving three-part series captures the thoughts and feelings of ordinary people caught up in world-shattering events. Documentary narrated by Russell Crowe. 2004, 135 mins.
Children of the Empire For generations of New Zealanders and Australians, England has been the "mother country". When Great Britain declares war on Germany in 1939, the Anzac nations follow. Dramatic colour footage in this episode captures the shocking reality of an escalating conflict, including the fight for Greece and Singapore, and the Battle of Midway. Among unexpected film gems in this episode are private footage taken by Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies on his visit to bomb-ravaged London, an extraordinary one-man campaign to film messages from families for the troops in Tobruk, and surprising coverage of a homemade Kiwi "tank" constructed out of corrugated steel and a Caterpillar tractor!
Fighting Back While the fight continues for victory in Europe and the Pacific, the Anzac homefronts are preoccupied with their own problems: shortages, rationing and the arrival of the Americans on "R and R". Thousands of women are now at work and children too are doing their bit, foraging for paper, tin and rubber. This episode covers the years until the end of World War Two, including footage of secret mustard gas tests and survivors of Japanese POW camps and prison ships.
War that Never Ends, The The return of Anzac troops after World War Two brings both a baby boom and a surge in the divorce rate. But the newly won peace proves short lived. As the Cold War begins, Australia and New Zealand introduce compulsory national service. When the race for nuclear supremacy escalates, atomic tests begin in our nations' backyards. This episode follows the fight against communism, first in Korea then in Vietnam. By now, television is there to bring the grim reality of war into people's homes and the whisper of opposition grows to a roar.
A Film Australia National Interest Program in association with TWI, Nine Network Australia, ScreenSound Australia, NZ on Air, TVNZ and the New Zealand Ministry of Defence. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, TWI.
Writers/Directors: Paul Rudd, Ben Ulm
Narrator: Russell Crowe
Running Time: 135 mins
Classification: M. Consumer advice: Medium level violence, mature themes.
Curriculum Links: Australian History, SOSE/HSIE Australian Curriculum HSIE Stage 5: The Making of the Modern World - Australians at War; Exploring Australia's National Identity, Australian Studies, Modern History, English and Media Studies.