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Boy Soldiers

Australia, 1990 (MIFF 1990, Fiction)

Director: Mark Joffe

The Australian Children's Television Foundation produced Boy Soldiers as part of the new "More Winners" series. This is another series which attempts to raise issues not normally touched on in children's films.

The story is set around 1910 when the Australian Government passed a law requiring all boys aged between 12 and 17 years to register for compulsory military training.

Will Barnes is the hero of Boy Soldiers. Will is a fourteen year old boy with very strong values and beliefs. He's a Quaker and therefore does not register because he's also a conscientious objector. Since he doesn't register, Will is prosecuted and sentenced to twenty-one days at Fort Queenscliff.

Between 1911 and 1915, 30,000 boys were prosecuted for failing to obey this law.

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