#StayAtHome Film Festival: ANZAC DAY

How do you mark ANZAC Day in a time of social distancing? It’s a question that had to be tackled during the 1919 Spanish flu pandemic, with marches postponed and commemorations held privately at gravesides. The approach this year will be different again. Virtual dawn services are being held across the country; cut-out poppies will adorn windows; the Royal New Zealand Ballet will give a special performance of Dear Horizon.

Another way you can mark the day is with resources such as books and films–including the documentaries below. Works include Leanne Pooley’s 25 April, the excellent Paris 1919 which looks at events at the end of WWI and the recent documentary Almost Sunrise, examining PTSD in returned soldiers. There are other great sources of information as well, including NZ History, and footage such as Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old and the 100 year commemoration of the return of members of the Māori Pioneer Battalion to Tairawhiti.


25 April

Year: 2015
Length: 85 minutes
Director: Leanne Pooley

Watch the full film here!

25 April is an innovative feature documentary created to bring the story of the New Zealand experience at Gallipoli (Turkey) to life for a modern audience through a re-imagined world. Using graphic novel-like animation, 25 April brings First World War experiences out of the usual black-and-white archive pictures and into vibrant, dynamic color. Weaving together animated ‘interviews’ based on the diaries, letters and memoirs of six people who were actually there, the film tells the compelling and heart-wrenching tale of war, friendship, loss and redemption using the words of those who experienced it.”


The Colour of War: The Anzacs

Year: 2004
Length: 135 minutes
Features: Russell Crowe

Watch the full film here!

“This is the story of Australia and New Zealand at war as never seen before. For the first time, only original colour footage is used to paint a vividly detailed picture of these closely allied nations, from the build up to World War Two to the end of the Vietnam conflict.”


Paris 1919: Negotiating Peace After WWI

Year: 2009
Length: 95 minutes
Director: Paul Cowan

Click here to watch the full film!

“For six months in 1919, Paris was the capital of the world. The last shots had just been fired in the most devastating war of all time – and the old global order lay in tatters. Delegations from over 30 nations urgently descended upon Paris for the most ambitious peace talks in history. Paris 1919 takes us inside this singular event with a vivid sense of character and narrative.”


Almost Sunrise: Two Iraq Veterans Confront their PTSD on a Cross-Country Journey

Year: 2016
Length: 98 minutes
Director: Michael Collins

Click here to watch the full film!

“This moving documentary follows two Iraq veterans, Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, both tormented by depression for years after they returned home and pushed to the edge of suicide. The two embark on an extraordinary journey – a 2,700 mile walk across the country from Wisconsin to California, in order to reflect on their haunting experiences of war and to ultimately, save themselves.”


The Ottoman Empire: WWI (Lecture Series)

Year: 2017
Length: 31 minutes
Features: Kenneth W. Harl

Watch the full lecture here!

“Though it entered the First World War enthusiastically, the Ottoman Empire was not prepared for total war. In this lecture, focus on the empire’s offensives against the Russian Caucasus Army and the Suez Canal, as well as its struggle against an impending British invasion in the Dardanelles.”

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