September 09, 2004

Gratuitous Aussie War Movie Review

I finally watched Gallipoli for the first time last evening (after finally getting the girls to go to sleep). Yawn.

If you want a really first class Aussies-getting-kicked-around-by-bloody-minded-Brits-in-the-hell-of-war film, watch Breaker Morant instead. Different war, of course, but same principle and much better done.

Here's a bit more about Morant himself. A tremendous amount of controversy swirls around whether he and other Bushvelt Carbineers - a kind of horse-back Delta Force - went over the line in their guerrilla fight against the Boers, or whether they were railroaded by Kitchener to protect his own image. I don't know the answer. Certainly the perception that Moran and Handcock were judicially murdered to cover Kitchener's backside had a tremendous impact on relations between Australia and Great Britain. Of course, the film takes the pro-Morant view to the hilt. I'd be interested to see a more judicious treatment of the business. The only history of the war I've read, Boer War by Thomas Packenham, skips over the incident in just a few sentences. (If memory serves, Packenham suggests the Australian martyrdom of Morant was not completely justified.)

Posted by Robert at September 9, 2004 08:44 AM | TrackBack

As you may have seen at my place, I agree with you 100% about Breaker vs. Gallipoli; Breaker is probably one of my top ten favorites of all time.

Other than a few sites, I couldn't find much info about the historical Morant. Like you the only Boer War history I've read is Parkenham's; don't know of any others easily available stateside.

And apropos of nothing, pick up a copy of A.N. Wilson 'The Victorians' to read. I really think you'd like it.

Posted by: Dan at September 9, 2004 01:55 PM

Thanks for the tip!

Posted by: Robert the Llama Butcher at September 9, 2004 02:00 PM
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