Two important films depicted the prisoner of war (POW) experience under the Japanese in the first two decades after World War II: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and King Rat (1965). Together they portrayed conditions at the biggest concentrations of Western prisoners in the East: at Changi in Singapore, a holding area for 87,000 POWs who passed through the camp at one time or another, of whom 850 died there;1 and, on the Burma-Thailand Railway, a string of jungle work camps stretching 265 miles, where a total of 61,806 British, Dutch and Australian POWs laboured alongside many more Asians. On the latter, supply failures, monsoon conditions, and a race to finish from mid-1943 – the notorious ‘speedo’ period – led to a death rate of 12,399 or more than 20 per cent. Because most British and Australian prisoners spent time both in Changi and on the Burma-Thailand Railway, these films touched on the captivities of the vast majority of ex-POWs from both Britain and Australia who were held by the Japanese.