I've always been wondering about the peculiar rôle that the Gallipoli campaign still holds in the British mind after 90 years, and even more so in the Australian and the New Zealander's of course. That's why I went to see the new Turkish documentary Gallipoli with T tonight.
The movie is an old fashioned incarnation of the documentary genre. Knowing me, you'll be well aware that old fashioned is not a pejorative in my vocabulary. It is very carefully done, explaining the campaign's political & strategic background, using a lot of original quotes from participants on both sides of the battle line. While I do not know the details of course, I don't think it can be classified as partisan at all. They also resisted the temptation to turn this into a historic action movie - maybe with a little help from budgetary restrictions. The harrowing battle scenes were only alluded to ever so delicately - a quality that's hardly ever seen any more.
Unfortunately, they were showing the original language version (Turkish) with German subtitles, and not the English language one. While I enjoyed listening to the Turkish narration from an accoustic point of view (naturally I didn't understand a word of it), the quality of the subtitles was quite horrendous. There has to be a way of punishing subtitle translators for what they're putting us through, isn't there?
So, I still don't know much more about Gallipoli's peculiar rôle, but I know a lot more about its circumstances. I'll be looking out for more in the new Churchill Museum which I intend to visit on my next trip to London. But who knows, perhaps we'll get some insights from our English Kiwi correspondent before then?