Heroes or bastards: a very rare masterpiece finally on Blu-ray – Actus Ciné

Evoking the terrible Boer war at the end of the 19th century, rarely treated in the cinema, the very great Australian film “Heroes or Bastards” has never been released on DVD in France. Its release on Blu-ray is a small event, not to be missed!

Heroes or bastards: a very rare masterpiece finally on blu-ray - actus ciné
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  • Buy Heroes or Bastards on Blu-ray on Amazon for €19

Watch out, masterpiece. Invisible for years and never released on DVD in France, the Blu-ray release of the Australian war film heroes or bastards of Bruce Beresford is a small event!

At the end of the Second Boer War (1899-1902), which opposed the British Empire to the Boer Republics (the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic of South Africa), three Australian officers who were members of the unit Bushveldt riflemen (mounted infantry) are court-martialled. When the captain of their unit is ambushed and killed by the Boers, these three soldiers, led by Lieutenant Harry “Breaker” Morant, seek revenge.

Capturing a Boer wearing the late captain’s jacket, he was immediately shot in retaliation. This murder and the disappearance of a German missionary lead to the arrest of the three soldiers.

Lord Kitchener, who commands British troops in this war, hopes to end the Second Boer War with a peace conference. He therefore uses the trial of Lieutenant Morant and the other two to show his willingness to judge his own soldiers firmly, having exceeded the rules of war.

But the case is complicated, as it involves an indictment of murder by active-duty soldiers. And defense attorney Major Thompson is given just one day to prepare to save the lives of his clients…

Heroes or bastards: a very rare masterpiece finally on blu-ray - actus ciné

A three-year war, terrible and very little known to the general public

Australia has revealed some very great directors, such as Peter Weir Where george miller, to name only the best known. In 1980, we had to rely on Bruce Beresford, with his extraordinary film. Because this work is one of the very few, if not the only one, to be entirely devoted to the episode of the Boer War (a Dutch word meaning “peasants”).

A terrible war that remains largely unknown to the general public. Worn in particular by the formidable and late British comedian Edward Woodward in the guise of Lieutenant Morant, with a remaining 100% Australian cast, and a sumptuous photograph signed by the renowned op’ chief Donald McAlpine, this authentic story is considered one of the most iniquitous cases in the annals of the history of military justice. Today, Harry Morant has become a popular figure in Australia.

Historically fascinating, the film also shows that the Boers were the true inventors of guerrilla warfare tactics. Just as it is an opportunity to challenge an idea received by the general public: the first concentration camps were not built by the Nazis, but by the British, to intern them in appalling conditions. Boer and native civilians.

The film was cited for the Oscar for Best Screenplay in 1981. The actor Jack Thompson, which plays the lawyer, won the Best Supporting Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980, while the film competed for the Palme d’Or. In addition, the feature film won 10 awards from the Australian Film Institute, including Best Director for Bruce Beresford, Best Film and Best Screenplay.

Published by Rimini Editions, this DVD / Blu-ray (VF mono / VOST 5.1) combo of heroes or bastards is accompanied by a 24-page booklet evoking the shooting and the real events on which the film is based; an interview with the director (18’45) and the actor Brian Brown who plays in the film (31min).

  • Buy Heroes or Bastards on Blu-ray on Amazon for €19

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