Russell Crowe’s ‘The Water Diviner’ is an alternative exploration of the Anzac myth, exchanging a study of grief for the more usual displays of martial valour.
In Part Two of this 6 part series, I offered an overview of the film’s plot. In this part, I will reflect upon some of the national perspectives upon the Gallipoli campaign to assist in placing the film in its historical context.
The Gallipoli Campaign centred on the Allied attempt in WW1 to capture the Gallipoli peninsula and open the way through the Dardanelles and capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The intention was to defeat the Ottomans quickly, thereby achieving a two-fold objective. Firstly, to take control of the Black Sea, thereby linking Russia’s Black Sea ports to the Mediterranean. Secondly, to open an additional front in south-west Europe against the perceived primary enemies – Germany and Austro-Hungary.
From the perspective of national memory, for Australia and New Zealand, the Gallipoli campaign is remembered at a defining event in the emergence of the national identity in both countries – the memory of self-sacrifice and mateship are celebrated as defining Australian and New Zealand qualities.
From the Turkish perspective, the inheritor of many of the national traditions of the former Ottoman Empire, the campaign was a desperate struggle for survival against foreign invaders. This memory became a source of pride during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of WW1 and the carve-up of its territories by the victorious Allies. Furthermore, the campaign established the reputation of Mustafa Kemal ‘Ataturk’, the general around whom Turkish nationalists rallied during the desperate struggle for the survival of the Turkish Republic during the Independence war of 1919-1922.
In Part Four of this 6 part series, I will return to discussing ‘The Water Diviner’.
Photo Copyright Details:
|Title: The_Water_Diviner_poster Description: Poster for the film The Water Diviner Date: 1 October 2014 Source: Wikipedia Commons, which derived the image from commingsoon.net. This image is of a poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher or the creator of the work depicted. However, this low resolution image is reproduced with the intention of providing a commentary on the film.|