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MvM doco to premiere on Foxtel Wednesday

Doco_Poster Wednesday is Remembrance Day and Foxtel will mark Australia’s greatest maritime disaster with the documentary, The Tragedy of the Montevideo Maru, premiering at 7.30pm on the History Channel.

Introduced by Sky News anchor Jim Waley – who lost a relative on the ship – and narrated by actor John Jarratt, the two-hour feature tells the story of the deaths of over 1,000 Australian POWs locked in the hold of the Japanese hellship Montevideo Maru when, in the early hours of 1 July 1942, it was torpedoed off the coast of the Philippines by the American submarine, USS Sturgeon.

The documentary recounts the harrowing story of the sacrifice and suffering endured by these men. It features re-enactments of the event as well as in-depth interviews with the only surviving Japanese crew member and a Sturgeon crew member who witnessed the sinking ship through the periscope.

The documentary also explores the broader story of the Australian POW experience and features interviews with Australian and British survivors of other prison ship sinkings.

“In the tradition of event television such as Beyond Kokoda and He’s Coming South, the History Channel remains committed to remembering the legacy of Australia’s brave men and women,” says Foxtel manager, Jim Buchan. “I’m delighted we’re able to share this truly incredible if forgotten story.”

Producer John Schindler said he was drawn to the story because his mother lost four friends in the sinking. “It is Australia’s greatest maritime tragedy with the loss of 1,053 lives and yet, remarkably, most Australians have never heard of it. This documentary will once and for all put faces to numbers.”

The Tragedy of the Montevideo Maru, World Premiere, Remembrance Day, Wednesday 11 November, 7.30pm, The History Channel, Foxtel


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Andrea Williams

I have just returned from watching a preview of '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.

I was privileged to pick up Dr Rowley Richards up and take him to the screening. A survivor of Changi, the Burma Railway and the sinking of the Rakuyo Maru he is certainly one of our most dignified and inspirational Australians.

Keith – thank you, so much, for the all the work you have put ino the submission too. It is an amazing achievement and I feel we, the family members touched by the Montevideo Maru, are on a new and exciting path of recognition for the men who disappeared.

What a special Remembrance Day this is!

The documentary screens on Foxtel's History Channel tonight at 7.30 AEDST. Check local screening times in Queensland (6.30 pm) and other non-AEDST States - KJ

Douglas Stewart

Thank you Keith. All systems ready to go here tonight at 6.30 local time.

I wonder how many Queenslanders will miss the first hour because of daylight saving time. The History Channel has been failing to address this fact.

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