Erin Richter
May 16, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
performer
Flo Small, Pamela Quill
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B+

Amid the onslaught of warplane-soaring documentaries released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of D-Day stands this simple, compelling chronicle of how World War II affected seven quietly brave women in New Zealand. Filmed against an unobtrusive black backdrop almost 50 years later by cinematographer Alun Bollinger (The Piano), the women in War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us themselves recount tales of first love, illicit passion (surprisingly matter-of-factly), and prejudice. Accompanying their stories are war-era songs, faded photographs, grief-bearing telegrams, and vividly restored archival footage (which looks crisp on the small screen). This tribute (from director Gaylene Preston, whose mother is one of the women interviewed) isn’t the traditional war memorial, but renters won’t likely forget their visit. B+

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