An Accidental Soldier

  • directed by Rachel Ward
  • produced by Kylie du Fresne and Sue Taylor
  • writers Blake Ayshford
  • screenplay by John Charalambous based on his novel ‘Silent Parts’

Starring: Marie Bunel, Dan Spielman, Julia Zemiro and Bryan Brown

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A love story set in WW1 France

An unexpected love story set in WW1 France between a young Australian baker who has deserted the front line, and a grieving French woman, who puts her own life at risk by sheltering him from the authorities.

Harry Lambert (Dan Spielman) is a shy and gentle baker, shamed by his rural Australian town into joining the AIF.  He works baking bread behind the lines on the Western Front, amongst men who even the army brass can see are unfit for fighting.

When the bakers are thrown into the front line, Harry realises he cannot face death before he has known love and walks from the battlefield. In countryside swarming with gendarmes and military police on the look out for deserters, Harry barely avoids captures when Colombe Jacotot (Marie Bunel) takes pity on him.

Colombe is a silent farm-wife, bowed by hard work and tragedy.  Within her bare cottage, Harry and Colombe discover a love that is as powerful as it is unexpected. Through Colombe Harry learns true courage.  Through Harry Colombe discovers a beauty in life that she thought was gone. 

Colombe’s grieving neighbour Isabelle (Julia Zemiro), and Foster (Bryan Brown), the advocate at Harry’s court martial, underestimate the transformation wrought when two people find passion, in all its joy and hurt, when they thought love had passed them by. 

  • Almost 1000, British, French and Commonwealth troops were executed for desertion or cowardice during WW1, some as young as 14.

 Developed with the assistance of ABC TV and ScreenWest. 

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“Chinese portrait with Rachel Ward by Marc Jérusalmi” find out more

May 11th, 2016

An Accidental Soldier - Australian Premiere
An Accidental Soldier

“’I COULD not look on Death, which being known, / Men led me to him, blindfold and alone," wrote Rudyard Kipling. The words are inscribed on a steel plaque on a monument five miles from Ypres in the village of Poperinge. It’s dedicated to dead soldiers from the so-called Great War executed by their own side for refusing to fight, or who fled the horrors of the front.” Weekend Australian - Review

September 15th, 2013

Weekend Australian - Magazine
TV Tonight
Herald Sun, Melbourne
ABC - South West WA
Sydney Morning Herald
The West Australian