Turtle Beach Reporter Judith Wilkes leaves her husband and two sons in Sydney and goes to Malaysia to cover the story of the Vietnamese boat people. She becomes romantically involved with Kanan, and strikes up a friendship with Lady Minou Hobday, who keeps a regular vigil at “Turtle Beach” where the refugees try to land secretly in the hope that one day her own children will arrive. Accompanying Minou one night, Judith witnesses a brutal massacre by the Malaysians which spurs her on to expose the horrors of the internment camps at Bidong.
The Film caught my eye one night…
Turtle Beach It was about 3:30 AM and I saw this and it just hit the spot. Half way through I thought I should probably go to bed, but I wanted to see what happened too much. I don’t regret staying. In many respects like Hotel Rwanda it gives people an outline of the suffering going on those times as well as informing people who may have not known about it before. It makes me want to know more what was happening and what caused this devastation. If it has errors It doesn’t matter because It doesn’t affect the impact it has on the audience and that that brings the impact isn’t untrue. I find it hard to doubt any film with this sort of documentary content, you cannot suggest that this type of content is useless against a totally fictional comedy.
When I first saw the film I thought it looked like the writer was on drugs or completely insane, because you could see there were two films working within the one film… There were a lot of different voices in terms of the finance-raising, there was American money, and the producers – many, plural – really had very different views of what the film should be. Greta Scacchi really liked the book and liked the script and fought for it. But during the process of developing the script, they brought in an American writer and it really changed. I was off directing Police Rescue at the time. Then the cast, when they were in Thailand, said they’d signed on the script that I’d written and wanted to change it back to that. There was something about the American script that was more like King Rat than Turtle Beach. So then I was flown out to Thailand to rewrite the rewrite and the film ended up actually being a combination of both.