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Sisters of War (2011)

Sarah Snook , Claire van der Boom , Brendan Maher  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sarah Snook, Claire van der Boom
  • Directors: Brendan Maher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: BFS Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004PHE94M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,673 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A tale of strength, survival and forgiveness

In January 1942, the Japanese war machine thundered across South East Asia. In its path lay a tiny Papuan mission station, Vunapope, where a handful of Australian nurses took refuge with 84 wounded Australian soldiers. Abandoned by their commanding officers, they found themselves in the eye of the storm when the Japanese military made them prisoners of war. Although they were two very different women, army nurse Lorna Whyte (Sarah Snook - All Saints) and Catholic Sister Berenice Twohill (Claire van der Boom - The Pacific) forged a friendship that would survive starvation, beatings, torture and separation. Sisters of War is the dramatized true story of their captivity, their will to prevail and their extraordinary courage - a story untold until now.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sisters of War May 1, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Sisters of War is about a group of Australian Nurses and a small Catholic Mission in Vunapope. The Japanese landed, moved inland and the Australian soldiers barely escaped. The Military Doctors left the Nurses to fend for themselves, believing they should support the soldiers. The nurses and Catholic nuns took care of the wounded, and were terrified when the Japanese arrived. They became prisoners of War, with limited food and little medicine. Lorna Whyte one of the nurses became friends with Sister Berenice Twohill. They suffered trauma, death, starvation throughout the war. The Nurses were finally moved to Japan and nearly starved to death before they were rescued. In 1952 Lorna and Sister Berenice met again and remained friends the rest of their lives. This movie is based on actual facts and characters. The movie is well done and I would highly recommend it to all individuals who are interested in this time period and history.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This tells a part of the story of World War II that is all but ignored, let alone forgotten. It is of the Australian rapid withdrawal from New Guinea. A contingent of soldiers who are mostly wounded with their doctors and nurses are retreating to a Catholic mission at Rabual. When they get there, the mission Sisters take them in and share everything with them.

They think the Americans are on their way to rescue them as this is 1942 and events at Pearl `Harbor' has brought the Americans into the War with a taste for vengeance. One nurse Lorna Wyhte (Sarah Snook) befriends one of the sisters, a sister Berenice (Claire van der Boom). They learn from and with each other and to face the horrors of trying to deal with the injured men and the lack of basic victuals and medicine.

Then they see boats landing in the lagoon and sing praise for their rescue by the Americans, only these boys aint Yanks. Their doctors say it's every man for himself and bravely run away. The few soldiers that are left go into the jungle to carry on the fight. The women do not know what to do and as one says `Their God isn't white, he doesn't play cricket and he won't give a hoot what happens to you'. The whole mission is soon turned into a prison camp. There is a big however, and it is not a plot spoiler, in that the Bishop of the mission is a German and therefore under the direct protection of the Fuhrer; this prevents the Japanese doing the normal slaughter.

What then develop is the stories of both the friends and how they try to get through captivity and the rest of the war. This is a beautifully shot film, it is well directed (Brendan Maher)and very well acted. It does not glorify or over vilify either side - there is good and bad etc.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Australian Actors-great May 14, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I loved this movie as did my boss I loaned it to. We both order a lot of British movies and serials. This is about Australian Nurses, Doctors and military personnel that end up in prison camps. Very good.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MOST NURSES DON'T CHARGE BY THE HOUR October 23, 2011
This is a made for Australian TV movie. During WWII Australia is fighting the Japanese. They are on an island in New Guinea. When a ship lands, they think it is the Americans come to rescue them only to find it is the Japanese. The Australian soldiers flee to the jungle leaving behind the hospital and nurses and nuns to the "mercy" of the Japanese. The bishop manages to save their lives by claiming they are Nazis loyal to Hitler.

The hospital suffers hardships. Australian soldiers are captured and tortured. One of the Japanese soldiers form bonds with a nun and break the stereotypes. The bishop, who saved them is suspected of being a traitor. Tradition religious beliefs are questioned during the hardships of war. The nurses work to save people they would rather see die. The Americans have no misgivings about bombing what they think is an enemy hospital. The movie makes you feel the sad realities of war without constantly showing you the horrors of war. And like real life, there are some moments of humor and gladness. The Japanese captain, who had initially ordered the death of everyone shows he is more than a one-sided stereotyped figure we see in so many WWII films.

Sarah Snook gives us an Academy performance as Nurse Lorna Whyte. She sees things as black and white, good and evil. She excuses the Americans for their deeds. She is friends with a nun excellently portrayed by Claire van der Boom. Claire likewise has a black and white code, but one that is solidly different from Lorna's.

Excellent acting. Excellent drama.

No f-bombs, nudity, or sex. There are minimal scenes of violence to women.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nuns: forget "Sister Act." July 30, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Nuns have for too long been the subject of humor and stereo-typing as stern and uncaring disciplinarians; the hyperbole stems from images of Catholic School culture (of which I am a product) before the 1960's. Sisters of War is an incredible true narrative about nurses and nuns of a particular order and their lay RN counterparts; they are put in prison camps by the Japanese in WW II and nearly reduced to the level of starving animals; but the spiritual strength and commitment of these women is incredible to watch as they consistently disregard their own personal pain and suffering and tend as best they can to the needs and chronically deteriorating health of each other; it is the Good Samaritan story in overdrive. The interview at the epilogue of one surviving nun who is now in her 80's left me struggling to avoid complaining and carping about the daily annoyances of life. This is a must see.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars war movie
My mother was an American nurse in Australia during the war. Thankfully she never had to spend time in Japan as these ladies did. Read more
Published 5 months ago by 4wra32dp
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the better WWII movies
The nurses and nuns in this movie were mentioned in Mark Felton's book " The real Tenko". The movie starts out with a few Australian nurses and nuns caring for wounded... Read more
Published 12 months ago by mac
5.0 out of 5 stars Sisters of War
Sisters of War is an excellent DVD and has a very interesting story. Anyone would enjoy this intriguing and true story
Published 15 months ago by Patricia B. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Sisters of War
This was a great movie that informs this generation of the price that was paid by so many good people for the freedom we enjoy today. I recommend it to everyone!
Published 17 months ago by bon homme bill
2.0 out of 5 stars was very disapointed in this movie sorry that i bought it.
This movie was very over priced based on it content. It was kind of long drawn out and i dont think that it depicted the

true brutality that the japanees were capable... Read more
Published 21 months ago by fernand hamel
4.0 out of 5 stars Sisters of War
I liked this movie. It was quite accurate with what I expected from a World War II genre with Japan and our allies. Read more
Published on February 15, 2012 by jake
4.0 out of 5 stars Tear-jerker for even the studliest among us.
Judge David Johnson, DVD Verdict-- Sisters of War is based on a true story, and it's a story worth telling. Read more
Published on July 14, 2011 by DVD Verdict
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