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WW1 true story Field Punishment No. 1 on DVD in April

10 February 2015

Based on true events, the moving and brutal historical drama Field Punishment No. 1 tells one of the most remarkable and controversial stories of World War I: the stance taken by New Zealand’s first conscientious objectors, who endured incarceration, torture and even death for refusing to be conscripted against their will.

Directed by Peter Burger and written by the award-winning team of Donna Malane and Paula Boock (Until Proven Innocent), Field Punishment No. 1 tells the story of the hundreds of New Zealand ‘conchies’ who refused to fight in what they regarded as a war that ‘set brother against brother’ by focusing on the experiences of fourteen of them, notably Archibald Baxter (Fraser Brown), the country’s most famous conscientious objector and father of the celebrated poet, James K. Baxter.

Despite the unrelenting efforts of the Allied military machine, these men refused to renounce their pacifism. Arrested and secretly shipped off to Europe, they endured years of hardship in prisons and punishment camps and ultimately they were sent to the front line from which many never returned. How these men were stigmatized and tortured in an attempt to break their spirit makes for an uncompromising and dramatic war story – but the integrity, courage and compassion with which they dealt with the cruelty is even more extraordinary as ‘digger’ and pacifist alike confronted the ‘Great War’.

This hard-hitting drama will be released on UK DVD by Odyssey on 20th April 2015 to coincide with Anzac Day (25th April), Australia and New Zealand’s great day of national remembrance, which commemorates all those that fought and died at war. The release also coincides with the centenary of one the most legendary, protracted and bloody campaigns – the Gallipoli campaign that inspired Anzac Day and cost thousands of Australian and New Zealand lives.

The disc will retail at £12.99. No special features have been listed.