Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Titles curated by Pat Fiske

32 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year

B

Black Harvest documentary – 1992

When coffee prices plunged, it sparked drama of epic proportions in this, the third film in a celebrated trilogy set in PNG.

Bomb Harvest documentary – 2007

This documentary follows an Australian bomb disposal specialist training a team in Laos to clear bombs left from the ‘secret war’ the US waged at the time of the Vietnam War.

Breakout documentary – 1984

Japanese POWs were not trying to escape from their Cowra prison in 1944 so much as escape from the dishonour of capture.

Bridewealth for a Goddess documentary – 1999

Bridewealth for a Goddess is a remarkable record of a ritual that may never be repeated.

C

Chinese Take Away documentary – 2002

An adaptation of a physical theatre show by performer Anna Yen, which explores stories about her family.

E

End of the Rainbow documentary – 2007

This documentary traces the impact on the communities of moving a gold mine operation from Indonesia to West Africa.

F

A Film for Discussion documentary – 1973

This black-and-white experimental film was made collectively by members of one of Australia’s first Women’s Liberation groups. It sought to promote Women’s Liberation by engaging viewers in active discussion, hence its name.

First Contact documentary – 1983

It was a gift to the filmmakers: seven rusty cans of film documenting ‘first contact’ between PNG people and three white brothers.

Forbidden Lie$ documentary – 2007

Do you want the truth or what I said?’- a real-life thriller about author Norma Khouri’s defence against claims that Forbidden Love is a fraud.

G

A Girl, a Horse, a Dream documentary – 2003

This documentary follows the top Australian female jockey for a year to see if men and women can compete equally in horseracing.

H

A Hard Rain documentary – 2007

A Hard Rain came out of David Bradbury’s concern that Australia was about to embark on the biggest environmental disaster since white settlement.

Hunt Angels documentary – 2006

This dramatised documentary is about the life of 1930s filmmakers Rupert Kathner and Alma Brooks who were passionate about bringing Australian stories to the cinema.

J

Jabe Babe: A Heightened Life documentary – 2005

This imaginative documentary tells the story of a dominatrix with Marfan syndrome. It examines Jabe’s experiences in foster care and questions society’s obsession with perfection and conformity.

Joe Leahy’s Neighbours documentary – 1988

This was an excellent opportunity to make a contemporary film about the Papua New Guinea highlands and explore the society forming in the wake of Western contact.

L

Life at the Top: A Week with Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser documentary – 1977

Tracks Malcolm Fraser for one week in 1977 as he goes about his prime ministerial duties in Canberra and takes trips to Kalgoorlie and Wollongong.

M

Man Without Pigs documentary – 1990

The first Papua New Guinea man to become a professor returns to his small village to celebrate, but inadvertently creates antagonism when rituals aren’t adhered to.

Maverick Mother documentary – 2007

When filmmaker Janet Merewether could no longer ignore her loudly ticking biological clock, she chose to have a child on her own.

Menzies in Profile documentary – 1964

A tribute celebrating the life of Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, the 12th and longest-serving Prime Minister of Australia and founder of the Australian Liberal Party.

Much Ado About Something documentary – 2001

Much Ado About Something is a poetic investigation into whether the literary works attributed to Shakespeare were really written by Christopher Marlowe.

My Life as I Live It documentary – 1993

In this follow-up to My Survival as an Aboriginal (1978), also set in the Brewarrina Aboriginal community, 'Bush Queen’ Essie Coffey has nominated for the local council elections.

N

Night documentary – 2007

The real time and time-lapse images in Night are edited seamlessly and, in combination with the music, become very meditative.

O

The Oasis documentary – 2008

Father figure, counsellor, saviour Paul Moulds works tirelessly to salvage lost children. Along the way, he reflects on his own past.

P

Pacifica: Tales from the South Seas – Episode 1 documentary – 1993

Traditional stories, myths and legends from the Cook, Kiribati and Vanuatu Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Pacifica: Tales from the South Seas – Episode 6 documentary – 1993

Traditional stories, myths and legends from two Pacific Islands – Tahiti and Western Samoa.

Painting the Town: A Film About Yosl Bergner documentary – 1987

Bergner was one of the first contemporary artists to depict the plight of urban Aboriginal people and parallel their dispossession with that of European Jews.

S

The Sharkcallers of Kontu documentary – 1982

Believing that the spirits of their ancestors dwell in the mako shark, shark callers are not only hunting but also maintaining a connection with their past.

Size 10 documentary – 1978

Size 10 is about how four young women break free of the pressure to conform to beauty and fashion norms.

Stone Forever documentary – 1999

Over 30,000 bikers turned up in 1998 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Stone and recreate the funeral scene.

T

Taking Pictures documentary – 1996

Taking Pictures examines ethnographic filmmaking in Papua New Guinea and explores filming across cultural boundaries.

The Tightrope Dancer documentary – 1989

A portrait of flamboyant Australian artist and dancer Vali Myers.

Trobriand Cricket: An Ingenious Response to Colonialism documentary – 1976

This anthropological documentary covers the unique innovations made by the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea to the game of cricket.

W

Where Death Wears a Smile documentary – 1985

The little-known story of two Australian soldiers interned in a Nazi concentration camp in Czechoslovakia during the Second World War.