Never mind a minute of silence to remember Australia's fallen. Aaron Wilson's World War II film Canopy has 73 of them, in which barely a word is spoken.
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An Australian pilot shot down over Singapore in 1942 desperately tries to evade capture by the Japanese.
His film follows an Australian fighter pilot as he tries to evade capture in the jungle of Singapore after his plane is shot down. Tense, atmospheric and beautifully shot, the film has no more than a couple of lines of dialogue but foregrounds sound in a way few movies ever do.
''When I spoke to veterans, they'd talk about the quiet moments, about not being able to talk for fear of alerting the other side,'' says Wilson. ''They'd hear all the sounds of the jungle, and they've stayed with them to this day.''
Canopy focuses on two characters - Australian pilot Jim (Khan Chittenden) and a Chinese-Singaporean soldier called Seng (Tzu-yi Mo), who literally bump into each other in the jungle. Their interactions are in mime; they have no common language and can barely risk speaking anyway.
The sounds of the jungle - actually Sungei Buloh wetland reserve, just a few kilometres from downtown Singapore - both reflect and shape Jim's mental state.
''I wanted it to be experiential,'' Wilson says. ''Once Jim is dropped into this forest, you're in there with him. Time becomes fluid and it isn't like a typical film experience.''
Wilson insists none of this is about being flashy, it's simply a reflection of the stories he heard growing up in the Murray River town of Tocumwal.
''You'd hear the war stories, you'd see the legacy. It was all around me growing up,'' he says.
''My grandfather's brother was in Borneo and Papua and when he came back he couldn't handle it. After about three months he went back to Papua New Guinea. And he's been there ever since.''
One of the veterans who influenced Canopy is Barney Barnet, a 96-year-old from Brisbane who heard about the project on the radio and signed on to help with the sound design. ''He was in Burma flying Spitfires, was shot down and had two days in the mangroves,'' Wilson says. ''And what he talked about mostly was the sound.''
Wilson, who is 38, started on the film in 2006, and shot it in 2010; since then he has been trying to get it finished. Last December, he screened it to an audience of veterans and their wives, rounded up by Barnet in Brisbane. Afterwards, he says, they were very quiet. ''I thought they didn't like it. And then Barney said, 'That is what I experienced; the details are different but it doesn't matter. It's the sounds'.''
Canopy is Wilson's first feature but he has already shot the sequel. It picks up Jim's story in the 1970s, ''once he's returned home and the connection, or lack thereof, to his family. It's about the legacy, how the war never leaves him.''
There's a third film in his mind, too, about the lingering effects of war, not just on veterans but on their descendants.
The subject clearly matters to him, even if he's been spared direct knowledge of it. ''I've never been to war,'' he concedes. ''I'm just trying to channel stories that I've heard.''
Canopy opens on Thursday.