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]