Angels of War (1983)

  |  Documentary

Angels of War (1983) Poster

A documentary about the invasion of Papua New Guinea during World War II and how the people were conscripted into both the Japanese and Australian armies.


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21 January 2019 | maccas-56367
| Mixed feelings
My rating of 'Angels of War' is no-way a reflection of the Papua New Guineans contributions and heroic assistance to Australia during WWII - more a reflection of the anger, frustration (and at times emotion) I felt during this little documentary.

"They used to chop us up and eat us." - a Papuan New Guinea man talking about the Japanese. It then felt an insult, to dedicate so much of the documentary to the Japanese, and the Japanese perspective of this battle. I almost turned it off in anger when a Japanese veteran (wearing a safari hat and tourist camera) revisited New Guinea, making the poor Papuan man lug his heavy suitcase upon arrival.

My Australian Grandfather fought in New Guinea, and while it gave him horrific PTSD for the rest of his life, he always praised the heroic "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels" who helped Australia. It's heartbreaking that these heroes never seemed to get the proper assistance and compensation they deserved from Australia - if they did since 1983 (the making of this), then it was probably far too late for many anyway. As said in the film, "it's to the everlasting disgrace of Australia."

I did love the "George Washington naming story" though, as well as the "bark with power of our ancestors" anecdote - the unique perspective of the local villagers was why I watched this after all.

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Release Date:

27 February 1983

Country of Origin


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