Written by John Marson, Directed by Stuart Beattie
Released 2 September 2010 (Australia & New Zealand)
Synopsis: Tomorrow, When the War Began is about the journey of eight high school friends in a remote country town whose lives are suddenly and violently upended by a war that no-one saw coming. Cut off from their families and their friends, these eight extraordinary teenagers must somehow learn to escape, survive and fight back.
The film begins with a video log by Ellie. She asks the camera how she can tell their story. She suggests to herself "from the beginning." The then story begins when Ellie Linton and her friends head up into the mountains camping for a few days in a place dubbed ‘Hell’ by the locals, and during their stay there at night they notice a number of planes flying without lights but think little of it believing it to be the air force training or heading somewhere.
However when they return to their homes from their camping trip they discover that everybody is missing, their pets and livestock are dead or dying and the power, internet and telephone lines are out. The see only lights in town come from the Hospital and the showground from the back of Robyn’s house on the edge of town. The group split up with Lee and Robyn going to Lee’s restaurant to search for his family, and Ellie, Corrie and Kevin go to see what’s at the showground. Ellie, after seeing a man get executed panics and is seen by a sentry and they are chased and shot at by the soldiers. However Ellie injuries and possibly kills three of them by blowing up a ride-on mower with Kevin’s singlet and a lighter. The three then head back to the others who stayed behind only to find Lee and Robyn still missing. Ellie and Corrie witness an Australian F/A-18 jet fighter being shot down by unidentified aircraft. They decide to return to ‘Hell’ after they are spotted by a helicopter Homer damages, and barely escaping after Corrie’s is marked by flares and bombed by a jet fighter.
That night Ellie and Homer go back into the town to and find Robyn, only to discover that Lee had been injured and was unable to walk. The three of them find Lee being treated by the local dentisy, Dr Clements who tells them the enemy are bringing supplies and troops from Cobbler’s Bay over the Wirrawee bridge. The teens form a plan to rescue Lee in a rubbish truck shovel and are chased by a pair of armed buggies. After losing their pursuers they get to the arranged meeting place with Homer and return to Corrie’s.
The group then heads back to Hell but on the way get tired and stop at a random house. It is here the group discovers Chris, another teen who was unaware of the war even happening, who joins the group. This is after Ellie yells at him for not taking the war seriously when he falls asleep on sentry duty. The group gets back to Hell, which they plan to use as a secluded hideout. While there, they hear a radio transmission revealing Australia has been invaded by “The Coalition Nations” from nearby Asia, who believe they have right to the country’s vast natural resources to support their growing populations. The transmissions reveal three main ports are being used to deposit soldiers. One of the three is Cobbler’s Bay. With the only exit being across the Herron Bridge which the group then plans to destroy after Homer inspires them to do something about the war.
The group sneaks back to Wirrawee. Ellie and Fi steal a petrol tanker from the council depot which they then park near the bridge waiting for the others to be prepared. However when they are discovered by guards they hastily park the tanker under the bridge while Homer and Lee scare a herd of cattle across the bridge, forcing the guards to flee. Robyn, a pacifist catholic, shoots down the guards who are threatening her friends, while Chris lights the rope which acts as a fuse to the tanker, which then explodes. While the group is fleeing Corrie is shot.