Witness: a terrible role in a tragic WW2 event
The Montevideo Maru commemorative envelope

First reactions acclaim epic MvM documentary

There was a special preview screening of The Tragedy of the Montevideo Maru at Fox Studios in Sydney late this morning, and the initial audience reaction has been very enthusiastic indeed.

Andrea Williams, Una Voce editor and relative of two of the men who died on the ship, reports:

I have just returned from watching The Tragedy of the Montevideo Maru. It is a powerful documentary, magically weaving together what happened in New Guinea and South-East Asia.

It gets the story of the Montevideo Maru out there – there will be no excuse for ignorance after this!

It is informative and impassioned, capturing the spirit of this enormous human tragedy … testament to this was that everyone continued to sit and absorb the impact of it for several minutes after it ended.

John Schindler is to be congratulated for his enormous achievement.

What a special Remembrance Day this is!

The documentary has its premiere screening on Foxtel’s History Channel tonight at 7.30 pm (AEDST) and at 6.30 pm in Queensland. Other State and Territory readers should check local TV guides.

PNG Attitude would like to get your feedback on the documentary. So after viewing it tonight, why don’t you email me here.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jaymz Dash

As we don't have Austar, I'm looking forward to being able to buy the DVD. Is there yet a timeframe? Looking forward to seeing the documentary.

No date yet. You'll read it here first - KJ

 Ally Martell

Hi there John Schindler - Just wanted to say a big and hearty congratulations to you and your team for “The Tragedy of the Montevideo Maru”. I watched it and cried (of course).

Your ability to tell a compelling story is excellent. Thank you for going to so much trouble to source all those wonderful people for your interviews because their tales, courage and tears were so valuable to the overall story. Also, what incredible historic film footage!

If ever I’m having a bad day, I’ll think of those men who survived (and those who didn’t) being POWs, being transported, being bombed, floating in the ocean covered in oil and finally being rescued and I’m sure my bad day will fade away instantly. The suffering of our soldiers is truly unimaginable in today’s world.

I like to think there was an angelic audience of well over 1053 souls applauding you last night too! At last their story has been told to the nation properly! So thank you.

Hope all is well in your wonderful world of story-telling. I’m sure you already have the next project under way.

Rev John May

Re the broadcast on the History Channel. It is an important step in explaining our past that this program has been recognised.

I am disappointed that this much-advertised program on significant Australian history was cut down by about a quarter and omitted interviews (e.g., Lorna Johnston, Les Drew) and other segments which in my opinion were important for a balanced account of the history.

I trust that on any future occasion the full text will be presented, so that public opinion can be adequately informed.

Elizabeth Thurston

I was sorry to miss the preview of the documentary in Sydney yesterday but watched it last night with John Schindler and John Jarratt at John's home in Brisbane.

I think it is absolutely fantastic and it certainly brought me to tears - particularly seeing the photo of my uncle at the end.

The work and research put into making a doco on a relatively low budget was just terrific. The longer DVD version will be even better because he won't have had to lose the interviews he wanted to include.

I thought Jim Waley introduced it with great style and dignity and John Jarratt represented the true Aussie.

Congratulations to John Schindler for perservering to get it out there, particularly in these hard economic times.

Chris Diercke

Congratulations to John Schindler for an outstanding documentary on the Montevideo Maru. It was very, very impressive, informative, educative, succinct and moving.

Avoiding minor pedantics the documenatry transmitted the core of the story in an informed and moving manner.

To the general public (excepting those very few with bones to chew) I would say they received a comprehensive outline of the MvM affair.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)