The War That Changed Us

Next Tuesday 19th August the ABC will be showing the first of the four-part documentary ‘The War that Changed Us’.  It combines the stories of six real-life Australians involved in different ways with WWI,  with analysis and commentary provided by many of the historians I have reviewed on this site.

It promises to be a more nuanced approach than the ra-ra ‘War that Made Us Australian’ type approach that I find so uncomfortable.  Its six main characters are two soldiers Archie Barwick, Harold ‘Pompey’ Eliot, army nurse Kit McNaughton, anti-war activists Vida Goldstein and Tom Barker, and pro-war pastoralist’s wife Eva Hughes.

The documentary was created and co-written by Clare Wright (whose book The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka I reviewed here) and features interviews with Janet Butler (who wrote Kitty’s War  the much acclaimed study of Kit McNaughton, who features as one of the six characters in this documentary, and reviewed here), Marina Larsson (who wrote Shattered Anzacs, reviewed here) and Bart Ziino (whose presentation to the recent Royal Historical Society Conference The Other Face of War: Victorians and the Home Front I wrote about here).  So, as you can see, this is very much a documentary informed by familiar voices.

You can see a sneak preview of it here:

[And hopefully- surely- it will be more satisfying viewing than Anzac Girls which so far has been bitterly disappointing pap]



10 responses to “The War That Changed Us

  1. Amen to that. I can’t believe how *bad* that Anzac Girls program is. The way it diminishes the Anzac nurses with all that romantic rubbish is appalling and an insult to their memory. I abandoned it, gnashing my teeth after about 15 minutes.

  2. Such a pity about Anzac Girls. I agree. I will look forward to the Tuesday program.

  3. Reblogged this on Freud in Oceania and commented:
    An insight into Australian life during the Great War. Membership of Empire, being part of Britain and the promise of adventure motivated many. Those that returned were deeply changed and troubled, if not damaged by their experiences….

  4. I haven’t had a chance to watch Anzac Girls yet- I was hoping it would be good. I saw a brief promo for this one the other day, and am planning to keep an eye out for it.

    • For all my grumbling about it, I did read one review where it said that it started weakly and improved. I don’t know whether to give it another chance tonight or not.

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