Gallipoli (1981)

Directed by Peter Weir

As World War I rages, brave and youthful Australians Archy and Frank—both agile runners—become friends and enlist in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps together. They later find themselves part of the Dardanelles Campaign on the Gallipoli peninsula, a brutal eight-month conflict which pit the British and their allies against the Ottoman Empire and left over 500,000 men dead.

Frank and Archy are both short distance runners, able to cover a hundred metres in less than 10 seconds. But this rapidity goes hand-in-hand with a distinct lack of foresight – neither looks much further ahead than those 100 metres. […] In this fashion, the two runners embody the actions of both Australia and Australia’s young men.


In the introduction to the book What’s Wrong with Anzac: The Militarisation of Australian History, Marilyn Lake argues that “[i]n no other country has military experience in foreign wars become so central to a nation’s sense of itself and its national identity.” Anzac Day – and the “Anzac spirit” – positions Australia as a country that survived its “baptism of fire” in Gallipoli and emerged triumphant, the sacrifices of its beautiful young men forming the foundation of today’s great nation.

Dave Crewe (SBS Movies)