Additional cast have been announced for ABC wartime telemovie Sisters of War.
Claire van der Boom (The Pacific, Rush) will be joined by NIDA graduate Sarah Snook, Gerald Lepkowski (Dirt Game, East West 101) and Susie Porter (East of Everything, East West 101, RAN).
Van der Boom plays Sister Berenice Twohill, a Roman Catholic nun who together with army nurse Lorna Whyte (Snook) and a small group of Australian nurses and nuns became prisoners of war by the Japanese.
Adapted from the wartime diaries and interviews with Whyte, Sister Berenice and others survivors, it takes place on the remote island of New Britain, part of Papua New Guinea, in 1942.
ABC TV Head of Drama, Miranda Dear said, “When writer John Misto first approached us with the true story of Lorna and Sister Berenice, it was clear that this was a story the ABC had to tell. It’s such an extraordinary tale of courage and friendship in horrendous circumstances. We are incredibly lucky to have such an experienced and talented creative team behind this project and are excited about bringing this important and once forgotten story to life”.
Producer Andrew Wiseman said, “It is rare that a war drama has such powerful roles for women, rarer still that those roles are inspired by true stories. Very little is known about the extraordinary events of the capture of nurses and nuns on the island of New Britain in 1942 and what they endured for the rest of the war. There is a secret history here and thanks to the bravery of the women involved, both then and now, that story, that history is about to come into the light”.
The telemovie is written by John Misto (Heroes Mountain, Days of the Roses, The Damnation of Harvey McHugh); producer is Andrew Wiseman (Curtin); director is Brendan Maher (The Road From Coorain, Dirt Game, After The Deluge). It is produced by Pericles Film Production.
Filming starts in Queensland on Monday, April 19 and it will screen on ABC1 later this year.