3b Synopsis

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COMMEMORATING AUSTRALIA’S
ONLY EVER EPOCHAL MILITARY
VICTORY CLIMAXING WITH THE
CONQUEST OF DAMASCUS
1 OCTOBER 1918

Exploits of the Billjim – 1916 to 1918
(24iii, 15m 33s, 98.9Mb)

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WWI/ANZAC Centenary – main subplot being the bonding between soldier (Billjim) and  horse (Waler) leading to the ‘Killer’ last scene (ordered to shoot own horses):

[Act] I – Civilization Time – World History 101

CAMERA from aerial view pans down over Egypt, closer and closer to port of Alexandria, end of WWI late ‘1918 preparations to board troop ships to return home to Australia – head credits roll – CLOSE SHOT of face of ‘Billjim’ (horseman with ‘thousand yard stare’) sitting around camp fire with tin mug of tea in hand and ‘rolly’ smoke hanging from lips. He gets up and heads over to his beloved ‘Waler’ (specially bred horse). [End credits.]
CUT TO: Flashback to ‘1890s, we begin following, in parallel, the unfolding of the lives of Thomas Edward “Ned” Lawrence (British) and Arthur Olden (Australian, who will beat Lawrence to Damascus).
Introduce voice-over.
Montage (about 10 mins) on Middle East History – the cradle of civilization, invention of writing, Gilgamesh – first epic and great flood story, fractured by internecine, tribal warfare, Arab factionalism ripe for foreign invasion – Colonialism – Oil (discovered ‘1908), Winston Churchill’s dealmaking, Zionism, Battle of Beersheba (31/10/17) leads to Balfour Declaration (2/11/17) – promising the Jews Palestine (earlier real estate hunting in Africa, Sth America, even Australia).

Forward to ‘2008 introduced to the character playing the producer of the movie we are watching (is also the narrator). Somebody is making it very difficult to get the film out. We now have a story within a story.

[Act] II – Creation of Lawrence of Arabia Myth

Intercutting we see our AOA Producer researching and putting together the next part of the story, all the while meeting threshold guardians.
Back to ‘1919 (actually after the War) the creation of the Lawrence myth – by Lowell Thomas, a journalist, connected to the U.S Government, mission to work up stories to get ‘Isolationist’ Amercia interested in entering the War. He had landed first in the depressing trenches of France / Western Front, then heads down to the Palestince campaign on the way home, bumps into Lawrence, and sees the potential of a good yarn, even uses Australian Captain Frank Hurley’s film. Takes his show on the road, gets invited to tour England with it, where they have never heard of Lawrence.
In fact it’s Olden’s 10th Australian Light Horse Brigade – we see that the Australians with their outback horsemen skills were the spearheading force (Allied forces in the field commanded by an Australian, Gen Harry Chauvel) that kicked the Turks out of the Middle East after 400 years (not Lawrence).

ALH Beersheba Charge

Why and how the Australian public swallow the con, washed down with the Gallipoli defeat / diversion – as being the only significant international event in its history.

[Act] III – Race to Damascus

Damascus is widely regarded as the world’s oldest city – symbolizes Civilization Time.
A nation comes to terms with who it really is on the world stage – discovery of its actual ‘legitimacy’ (illegitimacy syndrome in reverse) – coming on 100 years of being led to believe that it’s fundamental lifeblood harks back to retreating from Gallipoli, contrasted to the denied, hidden truth – it should have been 100 years of acting like a proud international player, eternally borne back to being the spearheading force in the greatest military victory in modern history – making possible the home of the most influnential lobby in world politics (with all the turmoil that goes with it).
Double Climaxes: embattled AOA Producer gets past the last threshold; suspense of the the race to Damascus; ‘killer’ last scene.

Australians beat Lawrence to Damascus

‘Killer’ Last Scene :

DISSOLVE back to Alexandria, Egypt (late ‘1918) – we recognize the opening scene, preparing to return home on troop ships… it continues now, but theres’s one last hitch, the Billjim walking over to his Waler (horse), his old mate, is carrying only his rifle. They have been ordered to kill the, now dispensable, half of the partnership that got the powers that be the spoils. Thousands of ‘mates’ are about to be… and they know, we cut to the Waler’s POV.

…not a  dry eye left in the house.

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