The forgotten battle of Passchendaele (Movie)





A new movie may finally illuminate the `black hole' in our memory of this World War I battle in which feared Canadian `storm troopers' wrested a tiny Belgian town from the Germans. It's about time.

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Paul Gross's $20 million epic film Passchendaele will be the largest homegrown Canadian war movie ever made, and he makes no apologies for that.

"We're woefully ignorant of our military history," Gross says. "For me it's an issue. How do you know where you're going if you don't know where you come from?"

Feature films can work wonders in reconnecting the public with their past, he says. Few Australians really knew about their history at Gallipoli until the 1981 film by the same name, he notes.

The Passchendaele production team tore up a 20-hectare site in the foothills west of Calgary to re-create the nightmarish Flanders landscape, where heavy shelling turned the earth to fondue.

The resulting footage, Gross says, "looks terrific."


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