"It will never be the same, silent, sweet-smelling jungle track where man and his indecencies were almost unknown....... It is a trail of blood and iron now and in the memory of this generation will remain so"
Dr Geoff Vernon, Medical Officer 39th Battalion.
COMBAT CAMERAMEN OF KOKODA
Photographers and Cinematographers George Silk and Damien Parer captured most of what we see and know of Kokoda today. Sadly, Damien Parer was killed by Japanese fire 2 years after Kokoda. He landed with US Marines on Guam and Peleliu. Parer believed that to capture images of the faces of men in battle it was necessary to be close to the front line, sometimes even in front of it. On 17 September 1944 he was doing just this. His back was to the enemy, as he filmed marines advancing with tank support. 4 years earlier in January 1940 Parer, a photographer with the Commonwealth Department of Information, sailed for the Middle East and from the gunboat, H.M.S. Ladybird, he filmed the bombardment of Bardia, Libya in January 1941. With Frank Hurley, he covered the Australian assault on Tobruk on 21-22nd January. Three days later he accompanied 'C' Company, 2nd/11th Battalion, in its attack on the aerodrome at Derna, and shot his first film of infantry advancing under fire.
When Japan entered World War II Parer returned to Australia. After covering operations by Kanga Force around Wauan Salamaua, New Guinea, in 1942, he filmed the Australian withdrawal along the Kokoda Track in Papua. On 18th September Cinesound Productions Ltd released the newsreel, Kokoda Front Line, which used his footage. Introduced by Parer, the film and commentary brought home to Australians the realities of the war in the Pacific.
The United States of America's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences commended the work in 1943 'for distinctive achievement in documentary production' and later awarded an Oscar to its producer Ken Hall. In 1943 Parer's footage was used in the Cinesound newsreels, Men of Timor, The Bismarck Convoy Smashed and—arguably his finest work Assault on Salamaua.
KOKODA...The Spirit Lives Full length trailer for the documentary by Patrick Lindsay
'Kokoda ... the spirit lives', a Patrick Lindsay film, produced by Limetree Studios to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the WWII Kokoda campaign, the battles that saved Australia's freedom. This excellent documentary was released inAugust 2017. Lindsay was named a Member of the Order of Australia for 'significant service to the media as a television presenter and journalist, to international relations, and to literature as an author including numerous books on Kokoda.
Moresby Under The Blitz 1942 Propaganda Newsreel
An edition of the weekly Cinesound newsreel. This issue consists of one 'full-reel' item: Moresby under the Blitz - a film by Damien Parer of the war in New Guinea, including his dramatic footage of the bombing of the cargo ship Macdhui which still lays where it was sunk.
Kokoda Front Line This iconic and Academy Award-winning newsreel shot by Damien Parer
Kokoda Front Line! was a full-length edition of the Australian newsreel, Cinesound Review, produced by the Australian News & Information Bureau and Cinesound Productions Limited in 1942. It was one of four winners of the 15th Academy Awards for best documentary, and the first Australian film to win an Oscar. It was filmed by the Australian war photographer Damien Parer and directed by Ken G. Hall. Damien Parer is often cited as one of Australia's early Academy Award winners, however the award was made to the director, Ken G. Hall.