Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

All documentaries

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Loggerheads c1990

Since European settlement, half of Australia’s forests and three-quarters of its rainforests have been cleared.

Lord of the Bush 1990

Through the complex character of McAlpine, Zubrycki reveals the issues confronting the rapidly expanding town of Broome.

Losing Layla 2001

A painfully explicit depiction of grief, for some reviewers the film was seen as too raw, albeit courageous in its exposure of the subject.

Lousy Little Sixpence 1983

Lousy Little Sixpence highlights the injustice of withheld wages, and the fight for rightful payment to be made to Indigenous peoples.

Loved Up – Endangered 2005

While parts of Endangered have a light, Sex and the City feel to them, the undertones are serious and speak of cultural responsibility.

Loved Up – Lore of Love 2005

This film about people in love is a refreshing break from the usual heavy-handed anthropological treatment of Indigenous subjects.

Loved Up – Our Bush Wedding 2005

This documentary is about the wedding of artist Gordon Syron and photographer Elaine Pelot-Kitchener. Gordon went to jail for killing a man to protect his family’s country.

Loved Up – The Dream of Love 2005

Do blackfellas love the same way as everyone else?’ One of four films in this series which engages with themes of Indigenous love, family and identity.

Loved Up – Yellow Fella 2005

Tommy E Lewis, Indigenous star of the stage and screen, identifies as a 'yellow fella’ – both black and white.

Love’s Tragedies 1998

Private investigator Charles says the signs of adultery are easy to detect – new clothes, joining a gym, extra credit card expenses.

Lowering the Tone: 45 Years of Robyn Archer 1993

Archer considered A Star is Torn a tribute to women who influenced her music: Patsy Cline, Bessie Smith, Janis Joplin and Marie Lloyd.

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Mademoiselle and the Doctor 2004

Seventy-nine-year-old Lisette Nigot has decided to end her life. A powerful portrait illustrating the phrase ‘rational suicide’.

Maidens 1978

Almost four years in the making, Maidens sparked impassioned debate and became compulsory viewing in women and film courses around the country.

Making Venus 2002

Making Venus records in exquisitely painful detail the worst that can happen when making an under-budgeted, ill-prepared film.

The Man Who Stole My Mother’s Face 2003

In 1989 Laura Henkel was raped. Thirteen years later her daughter, director Cathy Henkel, tries to get the case re-opened.

Man Without Pigs 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.

Mao’s New Suit 1997

A frank, behind-the-scenes look at modern China as two young fashion designers stage a show in Shanghai.

Marn Grook 1996

'Marn Grook’ is the Indigenous name of a game very similar to AFL. This revealing documentary contends that AFL is in fact derived from Marn Grook.

Marvellous Melbourne: Queen City of the South c1910

Spencer believed cinema patrons wanted to see their own people and country. He went on to produce feature films, some with director Raymond Longford.

Maverick Mother 2007

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

Mawson: Life and Death in Antarctica 2007

Polar adventurer Tim Jarvis attempts to re-create Douglas Mawson’s epic and controversial trek to safety in Antarctica in 1913.

Melbourne Today 1931

Probably the first ‘talkie’ documentary made about Melbourne – in 1931, films with sound were still relatively new in Australia.

Menzies in Profile 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.

Merrepen 2005

Women from the Nauiya community 'are painting our stories and making things’ to practise cultural knowledge and pass on and preserve traditions.

Mid-East 1945

The African continent would have still represented the ‘heart of darkness’ for many Australians viewing this film.

Midwives … Lullabies … and Mother Earth 1993

In Europe from the late 14th to the 17th centuries, many midwives were accused of being witches and burnt at the stake.

The Mighty Conqueror 1931

Made only a year before Phar Lap’s death, The Mighty Conqueror boasts some of the last moving images of Phar Lap in Australia both on and off the track.

Mimi: An Evening with the Aboriginal Dance Theatre 1988

NAISDA led to the emergence of the Bangarra Dance Theatre and produced artists such as Christine Anu and Stephen Page.

Minymaku Way: There’s Only One Women’s Council 2000

Minymaku Way challenges views of Aboriginal community dependence on outside bureaucracy.

Molly and Mobarak 2003

The emotional journey of a young Hazara refugee from Afghanistan who struggles to adjust to life in regional NSW.

Monster or Miracle? Sydney Opera House 1973

Made just prior to the official opening in 1973, this is a celebratory film about the construction and opening of the Sydney Opera House.

Moodeitj Yorgas 1988

Moffatt’s work, influenced by cinema and pop culture, probes misconceptions about Aboriginality and explores gender, sexuality and identity.

A Morning at the World’s Greatest Agricultural Show c1926

A straightforward glimpse into the lives of the trainers, handlers and owners of horses and livestock competing at the 1926 Royal Agricultural Show.

Morning Star Painter 1980

A portrait of Djiwul (Jack) Wunuwun, the Morning Star Painter, set in his homeland community of Gamedi in Arnhem Land.

A Mountain Goes to Sea 1943

Made during the Second World War, A Mountain Goes to Sea was intended as a morale booster for workers building the machinery of war.

Mparntwe Sacred Sites 2004

This documentary about Mparntwe (Alice Springs) provides a history of the region and the journey of the ancestral beings that gave Mparntwe its form.

Much Ado About Something 2001

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

My Brother Vinnie 2006

When Vinnie made actor Aaron Pedersen his carer, he saw something in Aaron that Aaron himself could not understand.

My Country 1994

My Country is about the impact of the Native Title Act on relationships between Indigenous peoples and pastoralists.

My Life as I Live It 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.

My Mother India 2001

My Mother India provides an insight into the experience of the filmmaker’s mother as an Australian migrant married to a Sikh in India.

My Mother’s Country Part 1 2001

Oral history is an important feature of Indigenous culture. The stories told by family members give the Coniston massacre of 1928 a human face.

My Mother’s Country Part 2 2001

Japanangka’s act of retaliation for the theft of his wife sparked one of the last-known massacres of Aboriginal people in Australian history.

My Survival as an Aboriginal 1978

The first documentary directed by an Indigenous woman offers a solution by way of continuing cultural practice.

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Narbalek 2001

Narbalek is one of more than 100 documentaries made in the Nganampa Anwernekenhe Series, designed primarily for Indigenous audiences.

National Treasures – Bradman’s Bats 2004

Donald Bradman’s bats are a reminder of how this cricket legend played himself into the record books, earning the status of Australian icon.

National Treasures – Cuc Lam’s Suitcase 2004

Vietnamese refugee Cuc Lam talks about how this small red vinyl bag was a symbol of a new beginning in a new country.

National Treasures – Endeavour Journal 2004

A look at Lieutenant James Cook’s journal, written on board the Endeavour during his trip down under in 1770.

National Treasures – First Surfboard 2004

Duke Kahanamoku shows Australians how to ride a wave in 1914, using a board he built himself.

National Treasures – Gallipoli Boat 2004

A small lifeboat, retrieved from the shores of Gallipoli, is a direct link to the first Anzacs and the day that helped forge Australia’s identity.

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