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2005, History  -   16 Comments
Ratings: 8.14/10 from 93 users.

A beautifully produced feature-length documentary that is both epic and intimate, Gallipoli dramatizes the motivations, tactics and sacrifices which defined one of the most consequential battles of World War I.

In 1915, along the Gallipoli peninsula in the Ottoman Empire, British and French military forces set out to overtake an essential sea route from the Turks. It was a more challenging proposition than they had ever imagined. At first, they believed they could intimidate the Turks into surrendering through the sheer threat of their impressive fleet of war ships. When their opponent responded with undeterred aggression, Allied forces then moved the battle on land, and recruited the assistance of Australian and New Zealand forces who had recently undergone training in Egypt. Ultimately, after the gunfire had settled and close to a half a million soldiers lay dead, the Turks proved victorious in their defensive campaign.

The film contains valuable insights from a panel of noted historians, but it really thrives on the personal stories of those who served on the frontlines. Their perspectives are culled from a series of diary entries, and the profoundly personal letters they sent home to their wives, family members and other loved ones. They're brought to life by a voice cast of noted character actors including Jeremy irons and Sam Neil.

We learn about the early lives of each soldier profiled in the film. The regiment consisted of soldiers from every walk of life - from starving artists to prominent figures in high society - but they were all united in their deep sense of patriotism and duty. In hearing their recollections, we understand how their mission to defeat the Turks was thwarted by poor planning and a severe underestimation of their enemy's resolve and resourcefulness. Each wave of the battle is narrated in painstaking detail, and we're made to feel every setback, defeat and loss of life.

From the stunningly realized re-enactments to the powerfully dramatic musical score, the film's production values are beyond reproach. Gallipoli places the viewer on the battlefield, provokes enormous empathy for those who served, and makes the horrors of war vivid and palpable.

Directed by: Tolga Örnek

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16 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Samsher Ali

    Gut wrenching to see such carnage. What a waste.

  2. HENRY _ Navy Vet

    This documentary open my eyes to something that I knew of happening, but never could imagine all the trials and horrors involved. It makes me even prouder, that my Father served along side of the Aussies in New Guinea in WWII.
    Where can I possibly obtain a Digital copy of this Film.

  3. Eduardo Ribeiro

    What a fantastic documentary. The focus on the soldiers was a great departure from the traditional heroes and foes approach. Congratulations.

  4. Yves

    This documentary is awesome. Really touching. While watching it felt so real. It shows the horrors of war, from both sides.
    I gave it a 10 star rating.

  5. argelio lecea

    Very moving beautifully developed.Thank you.

  6. Carmel Fenech

    An awesome documentary - thank you so much! More of the truth makes us aware of how failed politicians and diplomats are self appointed patriots while the common citizen is hardly recognised as a human being. Pull down the borders and demiliterise globally is the only solution for what is about to happen once more.

  7. Jamie Smith

    This is an extraordinarily touching, thorough, and insightful documentary. Breaks my heart to think of what the brave soldiers on both sides endured. Just tragic.

  8. Murray Cake

    Marg, the Galippoi movie with Mel Gibson was an Australian production. Not American!

  9. Cherie

    I meant to write 'Now a sacred place" .

  10. Cherie

    This is a heart wrenching documentary that should be seen by Everyone.
    They lived through this hell , now a scared place.
    For both sides .
    I have now words for this devastation.
    We Will Remember Them ,
    Lest We Forget .

  11. John Townrow

    Peter Weirs' 1981 film starring Mel Gibson and this documentary make 'the perfect pair' of programmes for anyone seeking a full knowledge on this most important event in Australian

  12. C Man

    This is really an amazing piece of work. I consider myself a military historian, but there's really a lot I didn't know about WWI -- especially non-Western Front campaigns. The filmmakers really captured the essence of thr daily horrors during battle along with the all-important sense of duty to country and fellow soldiers. Bravo

  13. Parvez Iqbal

    One of the best documentaries ever made IMHO. "War is Hell." - General Sherman

  14. Barış

    Do away with national boundaries; imperialism and militarism of any regime. To burn the flags but not to be burnt for them, this is the gunner's dream.

  15. Margie

    I had only seen the Hollywood version of Gallipoli, starring Mel Gibson. It was good but this documentary is so much better, as there was so much more to the story. It brings home the hardships these men endured and it is beyond me how they persevered through starvation, flooding, cold, flies, stench, disease, not to mention continuously being fired upon. It's a miracle that anyone survived these horrific conditions.

  16. Glenn Luttrell

    An old digger with a tear in his eye said only few words that said it all one Anzac day , he said war is a terrible thing, you could see the sorrow in his face and the sadness he had witnessed