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Fragments of War: The Story of Damien Parer (1988) 

Kennedy-Miller, the Australian production company responsible for the cinematic hits Mad Max, Babe and Happy Feet, also had significant success on the small screen during the 1980’s. Starting with ‘The Dismissal’, which was about the sacking of the Whitlam government, the team went on to make mini-series covering ‘Bodyline’, ‘The Cowra Breakout’ and ‘Vietnam’.  Though the TV movie Fragments of War: The Story of Damien Parer is one of their lesser-known efforts, it is still worth a look thanks in no small part to the relaxed performance of Nicholas Eadie in the title role.

 

Using a retrospective of Parer’s war documentaries as a framing device, the biopic flashes back to his first meeting with future wife, and film’s narrator, Marie Cotter. After some naïve banter about the Spanish Civil War and that funny little man Hitler, the arrival of the Second World War see’s Parer sign up with the Department of Information Unit as a movie photographer. Initially filming such puff pieces as the AIF Surf Carnival at Gaza Beach, it’s not long before Parer joins the army on the frontlines of Derna, Greece and most notably, Kokoda.

Matthew Le Nevez, Damien Parer, Rob Carlton, Ken G. Hall
Nicholas Eadie
Nicholas Eadie

as Damien Parer

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Bob Baines
Bob Baines

as Ken G. Hall

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Steve Jodrell
Steve Jodrell

as Chester Wilmot

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"Parer’s War is historical fiction. But it is fiction that is always faithful to the characters, and the visual and dramatic narrative of the film illuminates the reality portrayed in my biography. For that I am very grateful." 

Neil McDonald, author of Damien Parer's War

Alexander England, Chester Wilmot

Biopic includes recreations and actual footage from The Bismarck Convoy Smashed, Assault on Salamaua and the Academy Award winning Kokoda Front Line!

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