ANZAC Day on TVNZ Heartland
Incredible stories of real-life Kiwi heroes are remembered this ANZAC Day on TVNZ Heartland, beginning with an epic documentary, Lost In Libya (Thursday 25 April, 7pm). It's 1941 and deep behind enemy lines in the blistering heat of the Sahara, an elite Kiwi unit is ambushed in the remote valley of Gebel Sherif, leaving four survivors to escape into the desert. Current day, and three amateur historians attempt to retrace the footsteps of their wartime heroes in search of the only battlefield where Kiwis fought during WWII and that remains untouched.
A larger-than-life WWII hero is remembered in Turangaarere – the John Pohe Story (Thursday 25 April, 8.30pm). Porokoru Patapu (John) Pohe was not only the first Māori pilot in the RNZAF, but he survived 22 missions in his first tour, when the average survival rate was just six. On 22 September, 1943, Pohe flew a fateful mission that led to his capture and contribution to one of the most famous events of WWII - 'The Great Escape'. Pohe's extraordinary life came to a tragic end in front of a German firing squad, yet incredibly he chose to remove his blindfold and face his executioners.
Other shows marking ANZAC Day on TVNZ Heartland include The Shadow Of Vietnam (Wednesday 24 April, 4pm), a unique documentary which uses original film footage shot by the soldiers themselves, and Our Lost War – Passchendaele (Thursday 25 April, 4pm) in which actor Robyn Malcolm takes her son Charlie to Belgium to follow the path of her Great Uncle George, who lost his life in the fated WWI Battle of Passchendaele.