Peter Weir’s film Gallipoli

1722 WordsJul 13, 20187 Pages
Peter Weir’s 1981 film Gallipoli can in every sense of the phrase be called an ‘Australian classic’. The impact and effect this film has had upon the psyche and perspective of several generations of Australians has been significant. Whilst it can be argued that every Australian is aware of the ANZAC legend, and the events that occurred on the Turkish beaches in 1915, Weir’s film encapsulates and embodies a cultural myth which is now propagated as fact and embraced as part of the contemporary Australian identity. The film projects a sense of Australian nationalism that grew out of the 1970’s, and focuses on what it ‘means’ to be an Australian in a post-colonial country. In this way Gallipoli embodies a sense of ‘Australian-ness’ through…show more content…
Individualism is shared through the mirror imaging of the two protagonists, presenting “unabashedly the primacy of the male subject, in fact revealing his elevation to the status of universal subject. It glorifies the centrality of the superior bond between male and male that is forged in the crucible of hardship and opposition” (Lucas 148). Archie and Frank can be seen as representative of Australian nationalism through the fact that they embody opposing and yet complementary aspects of the male ideal, both being physical capable and displaying a casual attitude towards authority. In this way, the glorified concept of mateship embodies Australian nationalism, and emphasizes that “Mateship was a particular Australian virtue, a creed, almost a religion. Men lived by it. ... They died by it and it could become their finest epitaph” (Gammage 63). Furthermore, Gallipoli can be seen as reflecting a form of nationalism through the contrast of Australia and Britain within the film. Australia’s ‘new nationalism’ “represented an attempt to redefine the core of Australian civic culture and identity in the fading light of the Empire...to focus on the easier question of what Australia was not” (MacLeod 68). Primarily by representing Archie and Frank as in possession of a set of behaviours that were unique to Australians, and especially to Australian men, the identity of the nation became more distinct

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