Archive for April, 2015

Russell Crowe: ‘The Water Diviner’ has lessons for today

April 6th, 2015

The Australian actor Russell Crowe directs as well as stars in ‘The Water Diviner’, the story of a father searching for his three sons in the aftermath of the Allies’ ill-fated Second World War campaign at Gallipoli.

More than 100,000 soldiers died in the eight-month-long campaign, among them 10,000 Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (Anzac) troops. Their Turkish antagonists lost some 56,000 men.

In conversation with The Telegraph’s film critic Tim Robey, Crowe says that making the film gave him a new perspective on conflicts in the region today.

“It kind of makes me stop in my tracks sometimes when I think, 100 years later, we are still engaged in armed conflict in what was the Ottoman Empire,” he says.

“If you could somehow bring one of these young men to life who went away to war, the Great War, the war to end all wars, and gave their life on that principle, and you said to them, ‘actually, we’re still fighting wars in the same place,’ I don’t think they’d be very happy. I don’t think they’d be pleased with what their sacrifice had amounted to.”

Russell Crowe directing on the set of ‘The Water Diviner’

Making the film was also an education for Crowe in seeing the campaign from another perspective: the Turkish one. He says that he found it “fundamentally embarrassing” to realise that he’d never considered the situation from the Turkish point of view, and to learn that the place he knew as Gallipoli was known in the country by a completely different name, Chanakkale.

The Water Diviner is out now

World War Two

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