Mr Gid Essay

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Christina Twomey Monash University Abstract This article analyses the controversy that greeted the release of Paradise Road, Bruce Beresford’s 1997 film about civilian women interned by the Japanese in World War II. It centres on three issues that dominated critical reception of the film: its handling of the issue of sexual threat and physical violence to women in captivity; the representation of Japanese camp guards; and debate about the film’s claims to accuracy. These issues are intrinsically linked to broader understandings about gender, race and the nature of historical truth. The article examines how race overtook gender in public debate as the fulcrum of the film’s cultural comment on war. It suggests that this trend was particularly acute in Australia, where a discussion of race ultimately elided the film’s gendered aspects and merged into a consideration of the film’s historical truthfulness. This process reveals the strength of perceptions among movie-goers and many reviewers that cinematic history can reveal the truth about the past, and the need for historians to engage more fully in public debate about film and history. 30 Journal of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies Vol.10, no.1, January 2006 Christina TwomeyTHE AGE Paradise Road (1997) Encountering conflict is an inevitable facet of human existence, which by definition is the opposition of intangible entities. From conflict individuals and societies may be challenged and furthered in terms of social and moral values and beliefs, as each comes to encounter the underlying and intangible elements of conflict and through this, humanity. Based on the testimony of survivors, Bruce Beresford’s feature film Paradise Road highlights the potential of conflict to catalyse the revaluation of an individual’s moral compass, the way in which one lives and the values that are important to their existence to

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