An Australian man travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons.
Note on film and book:
The novel was published with the banner 'Now a major motion picture' on the front cover, while other sources identify it is a novelisation of the screenplay. As such, the relationship between the two is not one of straightforward adaptation.
'The World War I Gallipoli campaign in modern Turkey in April 1915 was calamitous from the outset, with the amphibious assault by British and Allied forces landing well off course. Australia's first major military engagement since achieving nationhood in 1901, its chief success would become their stealth evacuation, which saw seventy thousand men covertly withdrawn over nine days and nights in December 1915. The campaign was ultimately futile and deemed immaterial to the outcome of the war. Such an ignominious defeat at the hands of the Ottoman Empire would seem an unlikely source for a national myth. It lacks, for example, “the psychic reassurance of triumph over the sources of threat” and the defeat of enemies that Graham Dawson identifies as a key psychic and social function of adventure narratives and soldier heroes (282). Yet, the ill‐fated Gallipoli campaign is popularly held in Australia's cultural imagination as the “birth of a nation” for a former colony then still under the yoke of the British Empire. In Australian politics and culture, the youthful nation's presumed character was forged in war and embodied in the deeds of its young men, in spite of ultimate defeat.' (Introduction)
'Russell Crowe’s directorial debut in takes him beyond the famous battle at Gallipoli, and to the heart of two very different home fronts, writes Michael Bodey.'
'Jai Courtney had to keep his cool playing a real-life Aussie army officer at Gallipoli in Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner...'