Shooting an invisible enemy

Keiko Tamura*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    War cameraman Damien Parer (1912-44) is best known for his newsreel films of the war in New Guinea. In his most famous work, Kokoda Front Line, in 1942, Parer comments that the Japanese were 'complete masters of camouflage and deception'. The invisibility of the Japanese soldiers posed a challenge to the cameraman and the production team, as film essentially has to rely on visual images. As the war progressed, Parer managed to capture images of the enemy, and these were shown in his newsreels. This paper examines visual images of the Japanese captured by Parer during the battles against them, and their representation in the three newsreels, Kokoda Front Line, Bismarck Convoy Smashed and Assault on Salamaua. An exploration of Parer's footage for these newsreels reveals several shifts in tone as the war increased in intensity and as his attitude towards the enemy hardened in the process.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)117-133
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Pacific History
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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