What to watch on TV this Anzac Day

by Fiona Rae / 24 April, 2019
Taika Waititi's short film Tama Tū.

Taika Waititi's short film Tama Tū.

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Māori TV once again devotes the day to Anzac programming, including a live broadcast from Gallipoli.

Māori TV has a full day of programming for Anzac Day, beginning with the Anzac Dawn Service 2019 at 5.45am, presented by Stacey Morrison and Matai Smith, live from the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The channel is also live from the Auckland Civic Service at 10.55am, where Prince William will be in attendance, and from Gallipoli for the Anzac Cove Dawn Service 2019 at 2.30pm. Other highlights include short documentary God, King and Country (5.30pm), the story of four cousins of the Wineera whānau in Porirua who enlisted in the Māori Battalion. It is followed at 5.45pm by Tama Tū, Taika Waititi’s short film about troops in World War II. Documentary Vapnierka (8.00pm) tells the story of 17-year-old Pouramua Nihoniho, who left the East Coast to go to war and was thought to have died in the Ukraine town of Vapniarka. The 1977 biopic MacArthur, starring Gregory Peck, is screening at 12.05pm and the 2017 movie Churchill, starring Brian Cox, screens at 9.00pm (Churchill is also screening on Choice TV on Saturday). For those who enjoy a kilty pleasure, an Edinburgh Military Tattoo screens at 7.00pm.

TVNZ 1’s Anzac Day consists of the wreath-laying service at 11.00am; Prime is screening local documentary POW: Prisoners of War at 8.30pm, featuring four veterans who were captured during World War II and experienced the brutality of life in a prison camp. They are Invercargill-born James McQueen, who joined the RNZAF at 18; John Wilkinson, who immigrated from Scotland in 1925 and joined the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve at 18; Englishman Ernest Davenport, who joined the RAF at 18 and arrived in New Zealand in 1948; and Scot James Easton, who joined the Australian Army at 23 and moved to New Zealand in 1948.

The History channel (Sky 073) is having a day of war-themed programming, including a marathon of The Somme 1916: From Both Sides of the Wire (3.30pm) and Churchill’s First War (8.30pm). As well as Between the Memory and the Silence (see Documentaries), Sky Arts is screening The Pity of War: Poets at the Front (9.00pm), which looks at poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.

This article was first published in the April 20, 2019 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

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