Based on real events, Sisters of War tells the stories of Lorna Johnston and Sister Berenice Twohill, two Australian missionary women who survived as prisoners of war in Papua New Guinea during World War II.
A manuscript by historian/research Rod Miller, The Lost Women of Rabaul, was created after Miller found a diary written by Grace Kruger, one of four civilian nurses in a tiny Catholic mission, who were captured by the Japanese in Rabaul in1942. Miller became fascinated with the story and the history behind it. He researched the events surrounding the interment in Rabaul and met both Sister Berenice Twohill and Lorna Johnson in 1997. Through them he began interviewing the other nurses and officers who survived.
The story unfolds in January 1942 when a handful of Australian nurses took refuge with several wounded Australian soldiers. Having been abandoned by their commanding officers, the group faced the Japanese along with Police-born Bishop Leo Scharmach who convinced the Japanese that he was a personal friend of Adolph Hitler.
In the days that follow, the captors face starvation, beatings, torture and more.
The movie, which premiered on Australian TV in 2010, is a treatise on the ravages of war and stories of courage, betrayal, heroism and death.
Sisters of War airs on Sunday, March 24 at 8p.m/9Mtn. on KSPS in Spokane.
For additional airings, go to the KSPS website.