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Our Committee is raising funds to create a lasting legacy telling the story of Lemnos' link to Gallipoli and Australia's Anzac story. Our projects include the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, the publication of a major new historical and pictorial publication and more. To make a donation you can also deposit directly by direct debit into the Committee's bank account: Account Name: Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Inc; Bank: Delphi Bank; Account No: 204299-020 BSB No: 941300; Include your surname in the reference section. For further information on our legacy projects or to make a donation please contact either Lee Tarlamis 0411553009 or Jim Claven 0409402388M

Thursday, 15 May 2014

New BBC documentary - I was there - The Great War Interviews

The BBC The Great War series conduct interviews with veterans, 1960's.

In the early 1960s, the BBC interviewed 280 eyewitnesses of the First World War for the series, The Great War. Using never-before-seen footage from these interviews, this film illuminates the poignant human experience of the war, through the eyes of those who survived it. 
One of these veterans is an Australian. Wouldn't it have been great if Australian documentary makers had thought of interviewing Australian veterans then alive.
Cecil Arthur Lewis - in 1914 and in the 1960's
Cecil Lewis is interviewed as part of this documentary. He became a famous war veteran who often publicly recalled his experiences. He was one of the founding members of the BBC and had a long and celebrated career as a writer, notably of the aviation classic Sagittarius Rising. At the 1938 Academy Awards, he won an Oscar along with George Bernard Shaw and two others for their screen adaptation of Pygmalion.

The Director, Detlef Siebert, wrote about why he made the series:
More than two years ago, I learned that the Imperial War Museum still had the original interview rushes of The Great War series from 1964, which the BBC had produced in partnership with IWM.
I was intrigued. Having worked on a few similar history series myself – such as Laurence Rees’s The Nazis or Auschwitz  – I knew that only a tiny fraction of the recorded interviews would have made it to air.I reckoned many strong and insightful testimonies must have ended on the cutting room floor because they didn’t fit into the series’ narrative or because they were simply too long.
IWM had digital audio files of the interviews and I went through all 280 recordings (more than 50 hours) looking for testimonies about the human experience of the war.
I didn’t want to make I Was There: The Great War Interviews about the military or political history of the war. I wanted to make a film about individual responses to extreme situations.
For more of this interview, click  here.
 To watch this great new documentary click here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

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