Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Petersen (1974)

play Coarse language – low ; Sexual references
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clip Petersen takes a dare

Original classification rating: R. This clip chosen to be M

Clip description

To protest against a prison sentence imposed on a stripper, the university’s Women’s Action Group, led by Peggy (Anne Pendlebury), decides to stage a live sex act on campus. Volunteer Moira Winton (Belinda Giblin) challenges Petersen (Jack Thompson) to take part with her.

Curator’s notes

Petersen is set during a time of great social and political upheaval in Australia. In this scene, the rising voice of feminism (or 'women’s lib’ as it was also called) is heard. The spirit of the radical times is carried in Moira’s suggestion that a sexual act be performed in public as a protest against discriminatory laws. Petersen’s first response shows him to be the kind of chauvinist the women are fighting against. When the resolution is passed and Moira challenges him to participate, Petersen’s acceptance has more to do with the excitement of taking part in a lewd prank than making a political statement.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

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  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

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