Exhibition spotlights film behind and beyond the front line

AWM-Action-Film-and-War-Official-photographer-Damien-Parer-putting-a-new-film-into-his-Speed-Graphic-cameraA new touring exhibition from the Australian War Memorial, Action! Film and War, has opened in Sydney at the State Library of New South Wales.

More than 200 objects from our filmic and military past – including Australia’s first Oscar – will be on show as part of a journey from before the First World War until today.

“This exhibition explores the long and storied connection between film and war and how history is framed and remembered,” said Australian War Memorial Senior Curator, Daniel Eisenberg.

“There is a tension between fact and fiction in this exhibition – exploring that desire for moving images to truthfully record history while also telling the best story.”

“Film has shaped our understanding of the Australian experience of war, and movies have always provided comfort to those serving far from home,” said Mr Eisenberg.

“The exhibition takes visitors behind the front lines to see Australia’s real and imagined wartime experiences,” said Australian War Memorial Director, Matt Anderson.

Action! Film and War features objects from behind the scenes of major Australian movies, shares the personal experiences of veterans staring in feature films, along with stories of notable Australians who have worked behind the camera – Frank Hurley, Damien Parer, Neil Davis, David Brill and more.

The exhibition features objects, technology, artworks, posters, paper records, photographs and oral histories, including a newly commissioned documentary by Neale Maude, Behind the Camera, that explores the stories and experiences of 11 Australian war cinematographers.

“This exhibition shows us the power of the moving image and how it is linked to our military history to shape the stories or our past and our nation,” said Mr Anderson.

Action! Film and War
State Library of NSW, 1 Shakespeare Place, Sydney
Exhibition continues to 28 April 2024
Free entry

For more information, visit: www.sl.nsw.gov.au or www.awm.gov.au for details.

Image: Official photographer Damien Parer putting a new film into his Speed Graphic camera – courtesy of Australian War Memorial