Kokoda is a must-watch movie this Saturday night at 8:40pm on SBS ONE.
24 Apr 2014 - 9:52 AM  UPDATED 22 Apr 2015 - 12:19 PM

The madness of war

War never seems to go away. While not wanting to diminish what I say above, by my way of thinking, Kokoda is a testament to the absolute madness and absurdity of the concept of war, and to the horror and nightmarish nature of the reality of war. I’m being wildly optimistic but it would be a wonderful thing if somewhere, somehow Kokoda caused someone with influence to think the same and act.

Critical acclaim from unlikely quarters

Critic Jim Schembri gave Kokoda five stars. He isn’t someone known for his love of Australian films – now there’s an understatement! – so it says rather a lot.

A chance to glance back

I’ve said it before and I will again now: film can be a wonderful window into history. This is just such a film. And for those interested, the historical advisor was Peter Broom, who wrote Those Rugged Bloody Heroes, which was later rewritten as A Bastard of a Place.

Amazing ensemble of Aussie actors

Jack Finsterer, Tom Budge, Steve le Marquand, Ewan Leslie, Luke Ford, Matt Le Nevez, Shane Bourne, William McInnes, Travis McMahon. Surely I don’t need to say more.

Stiff upper lips

So many of the characters in Kokoda are practically inarticulate and it’s fascinating to watch. As director Alister Grierson says “fighting emotion is more compelling for the audience than showing emotion.” In a strange kind of way this film shows how much better Australian men are at communicating. But maybe it’s people generally.

Low budget filmmaking at its best

Like Australian farmers, Australian filmmakers are clever and determined and can do things on the smell of an oily rag when required. This film is a fine example. It wasn’t just physically demanding for the cast during production: several dozen people laden with equipment were also slipping and sliding down the muddy slopes of Mt Tambourine in Queensland. But admittedly yes, no-one was firing at or slaying them.


The film, celebrates courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice. They’re good values to consider.


Kokoda screens as part of SBS ONE's commemorative war season on SBS ONE, 8.40pm, April 25.

Watch our free collection of war movies at SBS On Demand