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Field Punishment No. 1 (2015) artwork

Field Punishment No. 1 (2015)

Tuesday 10th March 2015

Based on real people and events, hard-hitting drama Field Punishment No. 1 will be released on DVD by Odyssey Video on 20th April 2015 to coincide with Anzac Day.
Damien Avery, Victoria Abbott, Jason Hodzelmans, Michael Whalley, Byron Coll, Fraser Brown
Peter Burger
Donna Malane, Angela Littlejohn, Paula Boock
Odyssey Video
1 hour 30 minutes
20/04/2015

Based on real people and events, the powerful, moving and often brutal historical drama Field Punishment No. 1 tells one of the most remarkable and controversial stories of World War I: the stance taken by New Zealand's first conscientious objectors, who endured incarceration, torture and even death for refusing to be conscripted against their will.

This hard-hitting drama will be released on DVD by Odyssey Video on 20th April 2015 to coincide with Anzac Day (25 April), Australia and New Zealand's great day of national remembrance, which commemorates the anniversary of the first major military action fought by their forces during World War I. The release also coincides with the centenary of one of that conflict's most legendary, protracted and bloody campaigns - a campaign that inspired Anzac Day, cost thousands of Australian and New Zealand lives and can be summed up in one word: Gallipoli.

Directed by Peter Burger (Waitangi, When We Go to War) and written by the award-winning team of Donna Malane and Paula Boock (Time Trackers, Until Proven Innocent), Field Punishment No. 1 tells the story of the hundreds of New Zealand 'conchies' who refused to fight in what they regarded as a war that 'set brother against brother' by focussing on the experiences of fourteen of them, nota'ly Archibald Baxter (Fraser Brown - Harry, The Pretender), the country's most famous conscientious objector and father of the celebrated poet, James K. Baxter.

Despite the unrelenting efforts of the Allied military machine, these men refused to renounce their pacifism despite being condemned as cowards. Arrested and secretly shipped off to Europe, they endured years of hardship in prisons, punishment camps and even asylums for the insane. Ultimately they were sent to the front line of battle, from which many of them never returned. How these men were stigmatised and tortured in an attempt to break their spirit makes for an uncompromising and dramatic war story - but the integrity, courage and compassion with which they dealt with the cruelty is even more extraordinary as 'digger' and pacifist alike confronted the futility of the 'Great War'.

The cast also includes Byron Coll (Top of the Lake), Michael Whalley (Legend of the Seeker), Richard Chapman (Black Sheep) and Colin Moy (Spartacus: War of the Damned).

  • None or TBC

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