Battle of Long Tan commemorated with special screenings of The Odd Angry Shot

The 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan is being commemorated with the screening of an Australian film which was released just four years after the end of the Vietnam war.

The Odd Angry Shot is the story of a group of Australian soldiers deployed to Vietnam in the late 1960s.

Director Tom Jeffrey said it depicted the realities of the war at a time when veterans were struggling to gain acceptance back in Australia.

"It reflected quite accurately how the Australian soldiers served in Vietnam and how they managed to cope with a pretty dreadful situation," he said.

But he said the film was criticised at the time of its release.

"A couple of film reviewers wanted to see more napalm bombs and more action and all of that," he said.

"But that was not the film we were making, what we were making was a film about the camaraderie of the soldiers how they survived ... and occasionally went out into the jungle and fired the odd angry shot."

Humour an important coping strategy

The film highlights the humour shared between soldiers.

"I think Aussies have always had a reputation for that and the jokes are pretty terrific," Jeffrey said.

The cast included Graham Kennedy, Bryan Brown, John Jarratt and John Hargreaves.

Jarratt said it was a winning combination on and off the set.

"When you're hanging around Bryan Brown and John Hargreaves and Graham Kennedy and Graham Blundell it was pretty hard not to laugh," he said.

"We had an extraordinary amount of fun, we got kicked out of every night spot on the Gold Coast except one."

Jarratt said the film came out at a time when attitudes to the Vietnam War were quite different.

"There was a lot of controversy about Vietnam and young blokes who went to Vietnam were treated fairly badly when they got back and they were only kids, it wasn't their idea," he said.

Vietnam veteran Terry Roe remembers what it was like to return to Australia after the war.

"We weren't looked upon very well, it was a political war but thankfully over time and with the help of the Federal Government we're now looked at as pretty decent citizens and we're very highly respected, back then it wasn't the case," he said.

Mr Roe said the film highlighted the resilience and humour of Australian soldiers.

"A mixture of emotions of some good times you had with your mates and sharing life [when] not patrolling, the things we used to get up to and also the times when we are out patrolling with your mates and spending five, six weeks whatever it was living together in pretty harsh conditions," he said.

"The Australian solider is very ingenious and resourceful, most situations they will find a way to turn it into a bit of humour type of thing to take the edge off the reality of what actually is happening."

Mr Roe was pleased the film would be screened in Tasmania as part of commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

"To remember those that have come back and are still struggling with the illness of the Vietnam war to this very day ... it is very important that we do that and we show our respects to those people," he said.

Jeffrey said while the film did not depict the Battle of Long Tan, it was a fitting way to remember the event.

"It's about the Vietnam veterans and the national servicemen that served in Vietnam and we all feel very, very honoured to be part of that tribute," he said.

There will also be screenings of the film in Canberra and Melbourne.

Source: ABC News