1987, 59 Minutes
Explores the story behind a propaganda film made by the Japanese secret service during World War Two.
In 1943, the Imperial Japanese Secret Service made a film called Calling Australia! to show the “exemplary conditions” under which prisoners of war were kept, and to "soften up" the Australian public for the anticipated occupation of their country by Japanese forces. Prisoners of Propaganda tells why the film was made, and how it came to be forgotten.
Since the late 1960s, various attempts have been made to uncover the true story behind Calling Australia!. Australian service organisations claimed to know nothing about it, those named in the film proved to be untraceable, and a search by other filmmakers and historians for information was met by further silence. After research extending through Australia, Holland, Japan and Indonesia, Prisoners of Propaganda has uncovered a series of answers and surviving POW participants from the original film tell their own story for the first time.
A Film Australia Production. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Writer/Director: Graham Shirley
Running Time: 59 Minutes
Curriculum Links: Australian Curriculum Humanities and Social Sciences: History 7–10 - Historical Knowledge and Understanding (Experiences of Australians during World War Two 1939-1945); NSW History Stage 5, Topic 4 'Australia and World War II - What were some of the experiences of Australians as a result of their involvement in the war?'; Film, Cinema and Screen Studies; International Relations; Politics; War, Propaganda and Society.