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Jungle conflict against the Japanese at Kokoda

Extract from Kokoda Front Line (1942)

Award winning newsreel from 1942 showing Australian forces in the Kokoda area of New Guinea. Starts with Damien Parer talking on camera about the serious threat being posed by Japan to Australia and praising the hard work and bravery of Australia's armed forces. The commentary focuses on the special nature of jungle warfare, the bravery of the Australian troops and the cleverness of Japanese tactics. This film won Australia's first Oscar (Academy Award). The commentary is aimed at making Australians at home aware of the seriousness of the Japanese threat and proud of the bravery and achievements of the Australian forces in difficult conditions.

Australian troops battled for seven desperate months on the Kokoda Trail to protect Port Moresby. By January 1943 Australian troops had helped to defeat the Japanese forces on Papua and stop Japan’s advance across the Pacific.

NFSA: 282 Newsreel courtesy Cinesound Movietone Productions, NFSA



1. What does this short film clip show? Summarise what you see and hear.

2. Does the film appear to have a main purpose or message? If so, what do you think it is?

3. Who made the film clip and when was it made? Use this information to try to work out why the film was made. Does this change what you think about the purpose of the film?

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