Trails From The East

Trails From The East

Iran - In The Land Of The Ayatollahs
Season 1  |  Episode 9  |  SBS2  |  November 17, 2011

Tonight's train journey takes us on a trip from the Pakistani-Iranian border via Zahedan to Tehran, and from there to Istanbul. In the train, young Iranians talk about their relationship with the Ayatollah regime and its repressive policies. Once the train crosses the Turkish border though, everything that is illegal - such as alcohol, card games, singing and being unveiled - comes out as soon as Iran is behind them.

Tonight's train journey takes us on a trip from the Pakistani-Iranian border via Zahedan to Tehran, and from there to Istanbul. In the train, young Iranians talk about their relationship with the Ayatollah regime and its repressive policies. Once the train crosses the Turkish border though, everything that is illegal - such as alcohol, card games, singing and being unveiled - comes out as soon as Iran is behind them.

Director Claude Gonzalez had always been interested in Sydney folklore and this particular story from Sydney's recent past had never, he believed, been fully explored. "Over the years I'd seen a lot of news reports about the incident but it wasn't until I actually met one of the survivors from the Kuttabul, Neil Roberts, that my interest was sparked." This program interviews remaining survivors of the mission - both Australian and Japanese - as well as family members of the Japanese submariners. The film also uses archival footage to recall the events of that night. In Japan the subject of war is taboo. Rarely do films dealing with these issues have the opportunity to present the other side of the story, and over the last 63 years, no-one has filmed or presented the Japanese perspective of the attack. Gonzalez draws out stories from the interviewees as to what their involvement was on that night. He was struck by how much this event meant to them at the time and how it has stayed with them over the years. "They had all taken part in an event that at the time was quickly swept under the carpet but they were left with strong feelings that have never been resolved." One of the little-known incidences that occurred after the attack was the funeral of the dead Japanese submariners on Tuesday, June 9, 1941. The Australian military at the time wanted to create an act of goodwill that would possibly give Australian POWs some leniency with their captors in Changi and Burma. Today, some of the Japanese servicemen regard Australia as a very compassionate nation that showed great respect to their war dead at a time when that sort of act was unthinkable.

Sydney at War

history, Modern history, Civics and citizenship, Asia and Australia

Years 9-10, 11-12 history, Modern history, Civics and citizenship, Asia and Australia
52:01
Director Claude Gonzalez had always been interested in Sydney folklore and this particular story from Sydney's recent past had never, he believed, been fully explored. "Over the years I'd seen a lot of news reports about the incident but it wasn't until I actually met one of the survivors from the Kuttabul, Neil Roberts, that my interest was sparked." This program interviews remaining survivors of the mission - both Australian and Japanese - as well as family members of the Japanese submariners. The film also uses archival footage to recall the events of that night. In Japan the subject of war is taboo. Rarely do films dealing with these issues have the opportunity to present the other side of the story, and over the last 63 years, no-one has filmed or presented the Japanese perspective of the attack. Gonzalez draws out stories from the interviewees as to what their involvement was on that night. He was struck by how much this event meant to them at the time and how it has stayed with them over the years. "They had all taken part in an event that at the time was quickly swept under the carpet but they were left with strong feelings that have never been resolved." One of the little-known incidences that occurred after the attack was the funeral of the dead Japanese submariners on Tuesday, June 9, 1941. The Australian military at the time wanted to create an act of goodwill that would possibly give Australian POWs some leniency with their captors in Changi and Burma. Today, some of the Japanese servicemen regard Australia as a very compassionate nation that showed great respect to their war dead at a time when that sort of act was unthinkable.
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