Gallipoli Film Analysis

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This film analysis will define the importance of mateship and sportsmanship in the ANZAC culture of Gallipoli (1981). Peter Weir film of the Gallipoli Campaign from 1915-196 revolves around the mateship of Frank Dunne (Mel Gibson) and Archy Hamilton (Mark Lee) that binds them through sportsmanship and military nationalism. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) culture is typically based on the athleticism of soldiering culture, which allows Frank to become a “runner” of information dispatches during the campaign. More so, Archy’s speed is deferred because of his patriotic desire to be on the “front lines” of the war. However, Frank and Archy are bound by the mateship that they experience as alienated short distance runners, which…show more content…
Gallipoli is a film that defines the mateship and sportsmanship of Archy and Frank’s relationship, which was certainly a part of certain soldierly perspectives of the war. However, the reality of recruitment and enlistment processes often involved personal motives and views of nationalism that were not always associated with athletic culture, but more often with recruits coming from the lower working classes: “It came down to the working classes to survive with lower real wages” (Wise, 2014, p.58) . In some ways, Weir’s film provides a propagandistic view of sportsmanship as a driving force in the Gallipoli Campaign, but the reality of The Nek and other aspects of the war reveal the grim truth behind the many differing version of death an mayhem endured by ANZAC soldiers during…show more content…
The mateship of Archy and Frank is based on the sportsmanship culture of Western Australia, which was a popular recruitment method for young men that joined ANZAC and, eventually, fought in the Gallipoli Campaign. Archy is a the blindly loyal nationalist that relies on his running skills to put peer pressure on Frank to join ANZAC. Frank initially declines, but the sportsmanship culture encourages a deep bond with a fellow short-distance runner in the effort to maintain mateship. However, there were many different soldiers from a wide variety of backgrounds, such as lower class backgrounds, which define a different and less romantic view of sportsmanship that Weir presents in this film. In reality, man men from the lower working classes joined ANZAC as a way to avoid poverty and low wage work. Archy and Frank’s relationship is a heroic and romantic view of the Gallipoli Campaign, yet it does show the horror and carnage of “bloody murder” of young men, such as Archy, that died in this failed attack against the Turkish Army. In this manner, the film Gallipoli provides insight into some aspects of mateship and sportsmanship between Archy and frank that was certainly valid, but it does not provide a comprehensive and realistic understanding of the multiple perspectives of class status and identity that defined enlistment in ANZAC in WWI.
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