FILMS, POLITICS AND HISTORY: THE EXAMPLE OF THE GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN
The Gallipoli Campaign, which turned out to be a failure for the Allies and a victory for the Ottoman Turks, is a significant part of World War One. The representation of the Gallipoli Campaign in film and its connection to politics and history has thus far not been academically examined from a comparative perspective. To fill the literature gap, I conducted a document analysis of four films about the Gallipoli Campaign, focusing on the experience of the Australians and the Turks. I chose two Australian and two Turkish films based on their accessibility and recognition. Two of those films, Gallipoli (1981) and The Water Diviner (2014), are Australian-made and show mostly the Australian experience. The two other films, Çanakkale 1915 (Gallipoli 1915, 2012) and Çanakkale Yolun Sonu (Gallipoli: End of the Road, 2013) are Turkish-made and emphasize the Turkish experience. All four films highlight the inhuman characteristics of war and the suffering of the soldiers and their families, hence the common pain. Not surprisingly, patriotism and heroism are the emotions that emerge in all the films in question because, for the Australians, the Gallipoli Campaign was part of the national identity-building process, whereas for the Turks it was about the survival of the nation and the defense of the motherland. The four films also have the common point of a somewhat anti-British approach, though the Australian-made films differ from the others by having more anti-war elements. The Water Diviner has a pro-Turkish political perspective whereas Gallipoli 1915 seems to cater to the current political arena in Turkey. A future work could include other films about the subject and make a complementary comparison.
Gallipoli Campaign, Politics, History, Film, Australia, Turkey