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by Damien Parer
Reel  2005
72 minutes

Language: English

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Damien Parer's Kokoda Frontline

The Oscar winning documentary, “Kokoda Frontline” by Damien Parer has finally been released on its own, exclusive DVD. The DVD includes a number of Parer’s newsreels covering Australian troops during the Second World War:

Kokoda Frontline
The Road to Kokoda
Moresby Under Blitz
The Men of Timor
RAAF Eagles Over New Guinea
Assault on Salamaua
From Palestine to Bengazi
Bismarck Convoy Smashed

Footage from Parer’s own archive – including his wedding – has also been included.

Parer’s films include some of the best ‘up close and personal’ footage to come from the battles of World War Two. This is the first time these newsreels have been presented in such a high quality, and it’s great to pick out new details even though I’ve seen each on numerous occasions.

After 1943 Parer began filming US forces in the Pacific – unfortunately none of this footage has been presented on this disk, nor the American newsreel honouring Parer after his death on Peliu in 1944.

The downside of this disk is that the feature is introduced by former Australian Rugby player Peter FitzSimons. This quickly gave me the impression that FitzSimons is simply ‘leeching’ off Parer’s fine work to promote his own book on the subject “Kokoda” (2004). After all newsreels have been played, FitzSimons also reads an account from his book about the Battle of Isurava.

All in all, it is great to see Parer’s “Kokoda Frontline” finally given the recognition it deserves.

Review by Daniel Leahy  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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