Trails From The East

Trails From The East

Malaysia - Knowledge Is The Beginning
Season 1  |  Episode 4  |  SBS2  |  October 13, 2011

Travelling south from Bangkok towards Malaysia, we meet a transsexual coping with modernity and a Muslim teacher discussing Muslim separatism. Passing the Malaysian border, people on the train talk about former Prime Minister Mahathir's leadership. The train travels through Malacca and Kuala Lumpur to end at the Thai border town, Hat Yai.

Travelling south from Bangkok towards Malaysia, we meet a transsexual coping with modernity and a Muslim teacher discussing Muslim separatism. Passing the Malaysian border, people on the train talk about former Prime Minister Mahathir's leadership. The train travels through Malacca and Kuala Lumpur to end at the Thai border town, Hat Yai.

More from this series

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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