With Girls' Own War Stories, accomplished documentary director Jennifer Ainge brings us a deeply moving and important account of the role of Australian women during World War Two, both abroad and on the home front. Given the advanced age of the thirteen brave women who participate in this remarkable film, it's a project of some urgency – all too soon, these memories could be lost forever. Using a range of fascinating materials from both public and private archives – photographs, newsreel footage from the day, recruitment posters and other memorabilia – the film sets out to place the extraordinary experiences of these ordinary women in a broader social context. The war dramatically changed women's expectations of their lives and shifted forever the balance of power between the sexes. Women discovered opportunities outside the traditional realm of feminine domesticity. They had a chance to participate in the life of the nation and they seized it with determination and enthusiasm. These women were no longer just wives and mothers, but cipher operators, factory workers, code breakers, searchlight girls ... there was nothing that they couldn't do. This is social history at its best, focusing on a period of tremendous change for Australian women in general by exploring the personal stories of individuals who demonstrated great courage and resourcefulness. The raw emotion these women still feel when reflecting back upon events that took place more than half a century ago is palpable. It is an honour to spend an hour in their company.
Girls' Own War Stories is a lively and engaging documentary and the women whose stories it tells are witty, articulate and reflective. The film could be well utilised in Humanities (History) and in any units focusing on gender roles, Australian cultural identity, war and social change. It would be appropriate for all levels of secondary school, particularly middle to senior.
There are no reviews yet.
Leave a Review