BOOK REVIEW: NEIL MCDONALD WITH PETER BRUNE – VALIANT FOR TRUTH – THE LIFE OF CHESTER WILMOT, WAR CORRESPONDENT

  Valiant for Truth is the first complete biography of Australian war correspondent, Reginald William Winchester (“Chester”) Wilmot. It’s a meticulously-researched and comprehensive look at Wilmot’s life. It covers his studies in Melbourne through to his passage into the world of journalism as well as the important stories he covered during the Second World War before his…

BOOK REVIEW: PAMELA HART – A LETTER FROM ITALY

  A Letter from Italy is a romantic story that isn’t just ruled by its heart. It’s a novel inspired by Louise Mack, the first female war correspondent who worked during the First World War. It’s a book that shows how a determined and strong journalist negotiates the trials and tribulations of being a woman…

BOOK REVIEW: DENG THIAK ADUT – SONGS OF A WAR BOY

  NSW Australian of the Year, Deng Thiak Adut, is nothing short of an inspiration. A lawyer with a keen interest in social justice, Adut was born in Southern Sudan and conscripted to fight for the rebels at the age of seven. Songs of a War Boy describes his amazing life as a child solider…

BOOK REVIEW: CAREK STELSON – SACHIKO – A NAGASAKI SURVIVOR’S STORY

  The story of Sachiko and other hibakusha are important, as they chronicle a fundamental part of history. This book also supports Yasui’s work as an activist for peace, as it is a cautionary tale about nuclear weaponry, but also one of hardship and human resilience. At 144 pages there were elements that could have…

FILM REVIEW: JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY

  Most people were introduced to James “Jim” Foley when he appeared in a bright orange jumpsuit and reports (and video) confirmed that he had been the first American citizen to be murdered by ISIS. It was a moment where the Islamic State had stripped away his humanity and reduced Foley to a casualty. In…

BOOK REVIEW: TIM COSTELLO – FAITH

  As the CEO of the World Vision charity, Tim Costello AO has often had to discuss faith. His latest book also deals with the topic of belief and how it can be used to highlight the things that humanity has in common as well as offering a vehicle for reconciliation and hope. This series…

DVD REVIEW: Suite Française

  Loving thy neighbour can be complicated in times of love and war. And World War II is the setting for the romantic, period drama, Suite Française. The film is a subtle and unoriginal story about an unlikely couple and their acting out of some forbidden love. The film is directed by Saul Dibb (The…

BOOK REVIEW: PAMELA HART – THE SOLDIER’S WIFE

The Soldier’s Wife is an intimate tale about World War I. The book is the 30th one to be written by NSW Premier’s Award-winner, Pamela Hart (who has also published children’s and adult fantasy novels under the name, Dr. Pamela Freeman). This is ultimately an emotional story about love, change, hope, grief and longing. The…

BOOK REVIEW: SARA GRUEN – AT THE WATER’S EDGE

  On paper, Sara Gruen’s novel, At The Water’s Edge holds a lot of promise. The book is by the same, famous author who penned Water for Elephants and Ape House. Plus, the plot itself has an original premise, three socialites travel to Scotland to find the Loch Ness Monster during World War II. Unfortunately…

INTERVIEW: MICHAEL COHEN CO-CURATOR OF DARLING HARBOUR’S NOMANSLANDING

  Nomanslanding is a world first, a 120m interactive floating artwork installation on Sydney’s Cockle Bay. It is part of public program of events commemorating the centenary of the ANZACS that was produced by Australian, Dutch and English artists: Robyn Backen, Andre Dekker, Graham Eatough, Nigel Helyer and Jennifer Turpin. Darling Harbour is also the…

FILM REVIEW: TESTAMENT OF YOUTH

  Vera Brittain was a feminist trailblazer, pacifist and activist. Her memoir about World War I, Testament Of Youth, was a detailed account of her coming of age and experience as a volunteer nurse on the frontline. Her story has recently received its second adaptation (the first was as a TV series decades ago), and…

ALBUM REVIEW: VARIOUS – BOB DYLAN – THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT CELEBRATION

The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration sees a cast of thousands pay tribute to Bob Dylan’s brilliant career. Recorded live in 1992 to a sold-out audience at Madison Square Garden, this double album displays a ramshackle group at its freewheeling best. Despite the show going for over four hours, this remastered and repackaged set is still incomplete, as omissions include: a…