In August 1966, in a Vietnamese rubber plantation called Long Tan, 108 young and mostly inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives against 2500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers.
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Wendy R. Anderson,
Nancy M. Pirelli
South Vietnam, late afternoon on August 18, 1966 - for three and a half hours, in the pouring rain, amid the mud and shattered trees of a rubber plantation called Long Tan, Major Harry Smith and his dispersed company of 108 young and mostly inexperienced Australian and New Zealand soldiers are fighting for their lives, holding off an overwhelming enemy force of 2,500 battle hardened Main Force Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army soldiers. With their ammunition running out, their casualties mounting and the enemy massing for a final assault each man begins to search for his own answer - and the strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage. The Battle of Long Tan is one of the most savage and decisive engagements in ANZAC history, earning both the United States and South Vietnamese Presidential Unit Citations for gallantry along with many individual awards. But not before 18 Australians and more than 245 Vietnamese are killed.Written by
Went to the first public screening at the Sydney Film Festival tonight with members of my family and sat in the front row in a packed cinema. Director Kriv Stenders has taken a big undertaking in telling this highly recognised Australian and New Zealand battle of the Vietnam War that has however been long overdue in getting a major screen treatment. He has succeeded brilliantly. The film's relentless action and attention to detail are mixed in with moving scenes of young conscripts and volunteer soldiers grappling to stay alive in order to return to their loved ones at home. Much like Peter Weir's Gallipoli the mateship ethos shines in this movie. However, unlike that film, most of Danger Close concentrates on the battle itself, and what a technically amazing film it is in presenting and creating a visceral and tense atmosphere for the audience.The performances are excellent all round but particular mention must go to Daniel Webber as Private Paul Large, his moving portrayal of a young conscript struggling and battling courageously to help his mates and himself survive, while looking forward to returning home to his fiance and family is brilliant. As noted earlier the action in this film is relentless, from start to finish, however it never ignores the humanity and futility of war through the loss of life of many young soldiers. The roll call of ANZAC soldiers who died in the battle, noted at the end of the film with their ages, makes that abundantly clear. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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