Earlier this year "The Docís Movie" was used to support a Year 12
History class in Western Australia. The following, in
the words of their teacher, is a summary as to how it
came about and also how it has developed.
In early 2007 I was
trying to find an accurate representation of the Vietnam
War to show my year 12 Tertiary Entrance Examination
(TEE) History students. As a secondary school teacher,
teaching Australian History to students bears a certain
responsibility. Providing them with an accurate
representation of events is always foremost in my mind.
I am always encouraging them to seek out older people
who have life experience to discover different
perspectives. In fact, one of their assignments is to
construct a hypothesis about Australian history and
research it by interviewing people to test their
I finally spoke to a video distribution shop called
Jaguar Videos in a suburb called Midvale in Western
Australia. They said I was in luck as a man who knew
someone in the eastern states, was currently in the
shop. The man (I cannot recall his name) said that he
had the number at home and rang me later and gave me the
number of a gentleman who had fought in Vietnam called
I rang Mick, left a message and he got back to me later
that day. He explained the DVD was filmed by 5RARís
Doctor to provide a legacy of their experiences for
family and friends, especially to those who had passed
away. We had a lengthy conversation and I ordered the
DVD which arrived a few days later.
When I sat down to
view The Docís Movie, prior to showing my students, I
was not prepared for what I experienced. It certainly
was not just another documentary!
I felt quite overwhelmed by the connection I felt
towards the events portrayed. Why? I discussed this with
Mick later and we came up with a few possibilities.
Upon reflection I believe it impacted me because:
In a false world, The Docís Movie is real.
The Doc has captured on film, the essence of a human
Doc's Movie portrays individual Australian men who,
despite being placed in the difficult situation of war,
rise above their circumstances and emanate a positive
ambience throughout the movie to each other and those
they come in contact with, especially the Vietnamese
people. Thatís inspirational!
Finally the day came to show my students. They knew the
background of the DVD and were eager to view it.
Silence fell over my usually very social students as
they soaked up the scenes and music (Later they wanted
to know who sang which song and thanks Mick for sending
those to me previous to watching the DVD). That day,
after viewing The Docs Movie they just wanted to
debrief. Viewing reality can be an awfully
confrontational experience. I have enclosed their
My students have often referred to the Doc's Movie. Many
have made reference to it in their formal assignments,
to back up a point they were trying to make. In class
conversation, students often refer to the importance and
impact of the Doc capturing history.
These are quotes from my students who are 16 Ė 17 years
a good film and would make a good text to reference. I
like the fact that itís not a re-enactment, but actual
footage from the war, it gives it more body.
The scene with the 'hueys' and sparrows were excellent,
just the raw sound of the blades ripping through the
'Amazing footage! Seeing actual recordings really helped
me to understand the conditions the troops and civilians
had to live under. The music added to the atmosphere and
intensity of the war situation'.
movie clips show what the living conditions were like,
the kind of landscape they were fighting in, the
equipment and weapons used. It shows the spirit of the
soldiers and the villagers. It shows what it was really
like, not just fighting but helping villagers. It shows
the reality of it all'.
doesn't seem real!
It just looks like another war movie.
Itís really sad, you just keep thinking that its all
pretend and that all the men that have been injured or
killed are just pretending.
But itís an excellent movie and should be shown to all
watching the movie it gave us a better understanding of
the way the Australians fighting in the war coped and
helped with understanding the conditions the men were
fighting in and the habitat of Vietnam. It showed some
of the extremes, which was really good in creating a
clearer picture for us. By showing the villagers, it let
us compare the soldiers' to them and helped with our
interpretation of the war. It is definitely a good
documentary to show to high school students'.
DVD will be a valuable resource for all who witness it.
It gave us an insight as to how these people survived at
such a horrific time'.
movie gives me a really good understanding of what was
happening in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Even though
if there's no talking, just the photos show a lot of who
was there, what they did and how they got out of it.
It's also good because they donít just show the
Australian soldiers' but the others who were involved'.
'Really interestingóyou actually get to see what
Vietnam looked like. You get to know who people were.
Theyíre not numbers filmed in black and white for
propaganda. Itís real and because itís not in typical
documentary style it captured my attention. I liked itÖÖ
and I think it would be good to show in more schools'.
thought that the movie was interesting just to see what
happened back then and how the Australian soldiers coped
'Shows real life footage from Vietnam. Should be viewed
by not just students learning about Vietnam, it should
be shown to all Australian students. This shows how
tough the troops had it and the type of terrain they
endured. But as you watch it you see the true Aussie
spirit, the men are all smiling and look happy. To them
they are just doing their job.
The DVD would be good for students because they can see
how hard and tough it would have been for our troops'.
think it's a good movie to show. Real life shots and
gives more of an understanding of the conditions'.
Tony and Mick, for capturing and sharing with us a part
of your lives, so not to be forgotten, but recalled and
remembered by those who have the privilege of watching
"I am currently investigating what I can do to have The
Docs Movie promoted to schools that teach Australian
God Bless and Keep You
Ellenbrook Christian College.Ē
to say, Tony White and the production team of Tony Henry
and Mick Henrys are extremely happy to witness this
development. We would very much like to know who the
gentleman in the video shop in Midvale was. I feel
certain that he will be one of ďour ownĒ. Can anyone
help or step forward and take credit?
We will be working with Jannina and hope to be able to
report more on the extended use of the "The Docís Movie"
as a tool in educating young Australians.
White wanted to make the following comment himself:-
had many compliments on the movie from veterans and
their families and these are, of course, gratifying.
However I found the comments of these young Australians
and their teacher, from outside the veteran community,
profoundly moving. For most of them and possibly even
their teacher, the Vietnam War is as remote as the Boer
I am proud that movie footage I shot over forty years
ago should evoke such warm and positive responses
towards the Battalion that we all hold so dear.
anyone would like to order copies of the movie we have
included an order form.
Thank you for your support.
details about the DVD Click Here
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