Kokoda Front Line!

Kokoda Front Line!
Cinesound Movietone Productions
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This iconic and Academy Award-winning newsreel shot by Damien Parer contains some of the most recognised images of Australian troops in the Second World War.

Australian troops from the 39th Battalion along the Kokoda trail through dense jungle terrain and across a river. The voice-over commentary by actor Peter Bathurst emphasises the harsh conditions, the bravery of the troops and the care and kindness of the Papuan carriers.

It also shows the presence of the Salvation Army and includes a shot of Father Albert Moore lighting the cigarette of a wounded soldier. Another wounded man with his arm in a sling stands outside a village hut.

The final sequence contains a series of shots filmed from elevated positions along the track of the stretcher bearers carrying wounded soldiers and troops climbing through steep sections in gruelling conditions.

Members of the 39th Battalion are framed from the waist down, trudging through ankle-thick mud as the image of Damien Parer is superimposed on screen in a reprise from his introduction to camera. He addresses the audience directly to remind them that the 'country is in peril’.

The clip ends with a dissolve back to feet trudging along the muddy track. An evocative instrumental score is used throughout the clip. Summary by Poppy De Souza