Sisters of War cast announced

07 April, 2010 by IF

Press release from ABC TV

Claire van der Boom (The Pacific, Rush), NIDA graduate Sarah Snook, Gerald Lepkowski (Dirt Game, East West 101) and AFI award-winner Susie Porter (East of Everything, East West 101, RAN) will star in ABC TV’s telemovie Sisters of War, a story of strength, survival and forgiveness.


Set in 1942, Sisters of War is inspired by the true story of two extraordinary Australian women: Lorna Whyte (Sarah Snook), an army nurse and Sister Berenice Twohill (Claire van der Boom), a Roman Catholic nun from New South Wales.

Lorna and Sister Berenice and a small group of Australian nurses and nuns found themselves in the eye of the storm when Japanese military made them prisoners of war on the remote island of New Britain, part of Papua New Guinea. Although Lorna and Sister Berenice were two very different women, their friendship would survive the incredible events that followed.

Sisters of War is adapted from the wartime diaries and interviews with Lorna, Sister Berenice and others who survived. The story of their captivity, their friendship and their extraordinary courage has never been told.

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”.

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).

Filming starts in Queensland on Monday, April 19. The 90-minute telemovie will screen on ABC1 later this year. Sisters of War is a Pericles Film Production in association with ABC TV. Produced in association with Screen Australia and Screen Queensland.