Have you seen Baz Luhrmann’s epic Australia yet? I know that Aussies may feel compelled to see it, but my advice is to save your money. What a disappointment and embarrassment! And I love his other movies like Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge.
It seems to me that Baz could not decide if he wanted to make a musical again, a comedy, an epic, a war movie, or some kind of Australian classic. He failed in all. Perhaps if he had indeed made if a musical the movie as it stands would have succeeded. It is full of cringe value for all Australians. The graphics are woeful. The dialogue is stilted, and the accents are overly exaggerated. The performances of some great actors are shallow and terrible. The only actor who was good was the young actor who was the narrator of the tale – Brandon Walters.
The scenes about the bombing of Darwin seemed to be over-the-top and aimed at a Hollywood audience rather than depicting the truth. But then I questioned myself and knew that my knowledge of the bombing of Darwin was scant. I did a little research in the library to try to discover what the facts were. The Australian War Memorial website has one short page devoted to the attacks. I found one book titled “Darwin’s battle for Australia: a history of Darwin’s role in the defence of Australian in WW2” by the Darwin Defenders and published in 2005. This 294 page book contains witness accounts and photographs from the events in Darwin at that time. Once again the local library manages to provide information that is relevant and of high quality content.
P.S. The power of the blogging world – very soon after I posted this I received the comment direct from the Australian War Memorial who pointed me in the direction of more of their resources. Thank you. My excuse is that it wasn’t because I was not being thorough in my research of their website, but because I had located the excellent book in my local library on the subject. I value their input and the power of Web 2.0.
You might like to know that the Australian War Memorial website also has information about the bombing of Darwin in its “Australia under attack” exhibition, in particular the section called “Australia bombed, strafed and shelled” at http://www.awm.gov.au/underattack/bombed/ .
In addtion, the page called “Darwin air raids”(http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/air_raids/darwin.asp) includes links to more information, including the names of civilian casualties.