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Changi

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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(Jan 14, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

The title of this searing war drama is the name of a hellish prison camp to which the six protagonists were sentenced for three interminable years. Young Australians all, the boon companions had boldly enlisted in the military in the early days of WWII, never imagining the Japanese would capture them in Singapore, imprison them, and subject them to inhuman punishments and privations. 60 years later, the now-elderly survivors come together for a reunion that tests their mettle in a very different way. 5 hours 12 min. on 2 DVDs.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Stephen Curry, Leon Ford, Anthony Hayes, Matthew Newton, Mark Priestley
  • Writers: John Doyle
  • Producers: Bill Hughes, Tim Pye
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Bfs Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2003
  • Run Time: 348 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006CY05
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,036 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Changi" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 11, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Six young Australian soldiers are captured by the Japanese and interred in Changi prison camp. Each of the six 1-hour episodes covers one man's recollections, as they meet for their last reunion. Each of the 12 principal actors is very good (six as the young soldiers and six as their older counterparts). This is the kind of engrossing story that you'll never see on American TV. The violence of their captors is quite graphic, but the humor they use to survive offsets it nicely. I highly recommend it.
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It is a pleasure to have occasion to rave about quality of acting. In this Australian WW II gem, the actors' portrayal of the full gamut of human emotion associated with the POW experience, and with the contrast of that experience with their lives before and after, is exact, convincing at every turn, and alone makes Changi worth buying. Add to that a compelling story line, constant underlying tension, brilliantly effective use of flashback to make subtle but profound points, and the multifarious talents of the cast, and the result is a real winner. Instinct tells me that this is a bit overdramatized -- that a real POW experience, with the aura of death and threat, would not necessarily be so effectively countervailed by hijinx and camaraderie as is portrayed here. On the other hand, this Japanese/Australian conflict has been too often ignored by "mainstream" WW II movies in the U.S. And it is delightful to see that this Australian-produced item is guided by a sophisticated vision of concept and audience more similar to British productions than to the dumbed-down American media of late.
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Although the story unfolds rather slowly due to the use of back flashes, it ultimately gives a vivid insight into the conditions of a Japanese POW camp during WWII. As I wathced the film, I became more engrossed in the entire story. Well worth a look.
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Without a doubt, this is one of the finest mini-series to come out of Australia. The acting and the writing are blended into an excellent tale that unfolds via flashbacks to a Japanese P.O.W. camp. Each of the six one-hour episodes features each man's memories of their time in the camp. It depicts how each man dealt with the extreme cruelty and violence perpetrated by his Japanese captors.
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Format: DVD
On 19 April 1996, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and his wife, Nicky, made a personal pilgrimage to Changi Prison, to see the cell his father was kept in as a prisoner-of-war during World War II. His father, Sir Alexander Downer, was interned in Selarang Barracks from 1942 to 1943 and then in Changi Prison from 1943 to 1944. Downer also visited the Changi Memorial Chapel, where Sir Alexander had worshipped during his internment, the Selarang Barracks, and the camp parade square, where 17,000 Allied POWs were ordered to assemble in 1942.

He was the godfather of Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, brother of Diana, Princess of Wales. The Earl's godmother was Queen Elizabeth II.

_______________________

Gordon's episode was a very light echo of the Selarang Incident

On 30 August 1942, as a pre-emptive measure, the newly arrived Japanese Commander General Shimpei Fukuye wanted the wholly British and Australian POWs interned at Selarang Barracks in Changi to sign a "No Escape Pledge" after the recapture of four escaped prisoners from Changi Prison earlier. The four escapees were Australian Corporal Rodney Breavington and Private Victor Gale, and English soldiers, Private Harold Waters and Private Eric Fletcher. The pledge reads: "I the undersigned, hereby solemnly swear on my honour that I will not, under any circumstances, attempt to escape."[3] With three exceptions, everyone refused to sign, because the prisoners saw it as their duty to escape if they could. Under the Geneva Convention, POWs had the right to attempt to escape and they were not supposed to be punished if they were recaptured. However, at that time, Japan was not a signatory to the Geneva Convention.
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