This clip shows the conditions of those living in low income areas of inner city Sydney. The children living in this environment, according to the narration, ‘start life’s race with a handicap’ placing a responsibility on the community whose duty it is to lift it. It focuses on the living conditions of a boy and his family, and the life of crime he gets into on the street. It hints at a cycle of behaviour learned by son from father.
The documentary-style to this newsreel, and the melodramatic narration about society’s social ills, make it difficult for a contemporary viewer to separate inflated half-truths from fact. In parts, it appears like a propaganda piece. It does, however, depict the social reality of the time – when Australians were emerging from the Depression.
A point of interest: Rupert Kathner’s filmmaking partner, Alma Brooks, can be seen playing the mother. Brooks often appeared in Kathner’s films, both actuality and fiction.