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KOKODA

Director: Alister Grierson

AUSTRALIA| 2006. COLOUR. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 95 MIN.


Kokoda is a film made as a commemorative tribute to Australian fighting forces in 1942. The title simultaneously represents the closest Australia came to being invaded by the Japanese and an awful theatre of war that defines the WWII Aussie fighting spirit as uniquely as does Gallipoli for WWI. The battles along the Kokoda track in New Guinea were fierce and gruelling. The punishing terrain and weather conditions, combined with dysentery, malaria and starvation, tested both seasoned soldiers and young recruits. Avoiding the unwieldiness of the entire seven-month campaign, the film focuses on a fictional small patrol of irregular soldiers (derisively nicknamed ‘chocos’ or ‘chocolate soldiers’), cut off behind enemy lines, who must rejoin their battalion in the lead up to the decisive battle. The ensemble cast shines through the mud and blood of battle, the action is confidently handled by deputing feature director Alister Grierson, and Jules O’Loughlin’s cinematography is evocative, dramatic and creative.

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