Changi is a six-part Australian television miniseries broadcast by ABC TV in 2001.
Tom, a widower living in an aged care hostel, has mixed feelings about the impending reunion, dreading the traumatic memories that it will bring back. On the day of the reunion, the six friends meet at an RSL. Even Gordon arrives, despite his condition. As the friends celebrate and remember, Tom’s thoughts return to the one night that he wants to forget, the final night in Changi.
August 1945, the war is coming to an end. The Japanese are hurriedly evacuating the camp in chaotic fashion. Many of the guards are randomly shooting many of the Allied POWs who are either hiding or trying to flee. Tom, in a dazed shock at the events unfolding around him, wanders into the compound and is nearly shot dead by a guard but two British POWs rescue him.
Dawn arrives and the surviving prisoners emerge to find the Japanese have all left, including Lieutenant Aso, his fate unknown. They discover the body of Colonel Nakamura who has taken his own life. Dr Lawson assembles the Australian POWs into ranks and leads them marching out of Changi.
Tom, the most gentle and sensitive of the group, marries after the war but the relationship proves to be an unhappy one, as his wife eventually grows bored of his timid, introverted nature and she feels imprisoned by his silent brooding about the past.
Tom, anxious to get back to the hostel before curfew, is the first to depart the reunion. As his friends wave farewell, Tom visualises them as the young men back in Changi, standing alongside Lawson, Aso and Nakamura, saying goodbye from his past.
You can find a full index and overview of Changi here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 18 November 2001.
- Running time: 60 minutes (per episode).
- Rating: TV-MA.
- Country: Australia.
- Language: English.