Gallipoli (2005 film)

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This article is about Gallipoli the 2005 documentary. For the peninsula in Turkey, see Gallipoli. For the 1981 film, see Gallipoli (1981 film).
Gallipoli documentary Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tolga Örnek
Produced by Hamdi Döker
Burak Örnek
Written by Tolga Örnek
Narrated by Sam Neill
Zafer Ergin
Demetri Goritsas
Jeremy Irons
Music by Demir Demirkan
Cinematography Volker Tittel
Edited by Maria Zimmermann
Distributed by Cinema Epoch
Dogus Group
Release dates
  • March 18, 2005 (2005-03-18) (Turkey)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Turkey
Language English

Gallipoli (Turkish title Gelibolu) is a 2005 film by Turkish filmmaker Tolga Örnek. It is a documentary about the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, narrated by both sides, the Turks on one side and the British soldiers and Anzacs (soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) on the other side.[1]


Through the use of surviving diaries, letters and photographs from both sides, the film shows the bravery and the suffering on both sides. The film also contains: interviews with international experts, location landscape, underwater and aerial photography, 3-D computer animations and re-enactments of trenches.


Critical response[edit]

When the film was released in France, Variety magazine film critic, Lisa Nesselson, reviewed the film favorably, writing, "A thorough recounting of the carnage when Allied Forces attempted to take the Dardanelles Straits and the title peninsula in Turkey during WWI, Gallipoli serves up the paradoxes and idiocy of battle as expressed in letters and journals written by the men (on both sides) who were there...Clear, informative and frequently moving narration by Jeremy Irons and Sam Neill ties together six years of research by vet documaker Tolga Ornek. Drawing heavily on surviving correspondence, and skillfully illustrated with a blend of still photos, period footage and re-enactments, film keeps talking heads to a minimum. It brings to life long-dead adversaries who did their duty despite massive casualties from artillery, mines and the ravages of dysentery...Tech credits are top notch."[2]

In a review of the film in the World Socialist Web Site (a publication of the International Committee of the Fourth International), Richard Phillips discussed the style used by the filmmakers, writing, "Like most contemporary war documentaries, Örnek’s movie—Gallipoli: The Front Line Experience—uses archival photos and film footage, as well as aerial photography and dramatisations to provide a detailed account of the military campaign. But Örnek’s use of the letters and diaries of 10 soldiers—British, Australian, New Zealand and Turkish—selected from scores discovered by his research team gives it an extraordinary human dimension and immediacy."[3]

Australian film critic Louise Keller also discussed the impact and purpose of the film, writing, "A potent and magnificent documentary, Gallipoli impacts emotionally through its humanity and intensely personal stories. It has taken filmmaker Tolga Örnek six long years to research, write, produce and direct this outstanding film that documents the thoughts of soldiers who fought on all sides of this futile fiasco of a war. Although Örnek's script concisely recounts the circumstances and events that took place in the lead up to the nine month war, in which tens of thousands of soldiers lost their lives, it is not a story about who won or lost. Everyone lost in this shocking conflict, when young men not only fought against each other, but against extreme weather conditions, severe hardships like the ravages of disease, flies and lice."[4]


For this film, Tolga Örnek has been awarded an honorary medal in the general division of the Order of Australia.e[5]

Home media[edit]

A DVD in Region 1 was released in February 5, 2008 by Cinema Epoch.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gallipoli (2005) at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Nesselson, Lisa. Variety, film review, December 13, 2005. Last accessed: February 19, 2011.
  3. ^ Phillips, Richard. World Socialist Web Site, film analysis, December 7, 2005. Last accessed: February 19, 2011.
  4. ^ Keller, Louise. Urban Cinefile: The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet, film review, 2005. Last accessed: February 19, 2011.
  5. ^ The Order: The National Magazine of The Order of Australia Association, "Turkish filmmaker honoured," No 19, Winter 2006, page 10. Last accessed: February 19, 2011. (PDF link)
  6. ^ Amazon, web site.

External links[edit]