War Crimes is a gripping story of six teenage girls who are fighting to earn respect and leave their mark by whatever means possible. Inspired by a spate of attacks on war memorials, War Crimes references landmark historical events such as the Cronulla riots and the ANZAC story to interrogate race and gender relations in contemporary Australia. The play draws correlations between the local and the global, between violence against women and a culture of masculinity and mateship. How does powerlessness breed a hatred of ‘the other’ and what role do governments and the media play in perpetuating xenophobia and misogyny in our community?
War Crimes continues Betzien’s trademark technique of using real events as pretexts for the creation of relevant and provocative contemporary Australian drama.