Backs to the Blast, an Australian Nuclear Story documentary – 1981
Made 25 years after nuclear tests were conducted in SA in the 1950s, this documentary stirred up a political hornet’s nest.
A Big Country – The Darcys of Mallapunyah television program – 1981
A Big Country launched some of Australia’s best-known journalists and filmmakers, including Bob Connolly, Paul Williams, Chris Masters and Andrew Olle.
A Big Country – The Drover television program – 1981
Jack loves his job and his life on the road. The filmmakers have captured both the hardship and the freedom of a life on the ‘long paddock’.
Bitter Herbs and Honey documentary – 1981
While this study of Jews in Carlton re-enacts how Jewish boys were bullied, it is also a celebration of family and citizenship.
Bread and Dripping documentary – 1981
Four women recall raising families during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The film also looks at the activism of women and the beginnings of the early feminist movement in Australia.
Down Under music – 1981
Released in 1981, this catchy pop song was written as a light ‘tongue-in-cheek’ dig at Australian values. It became a number one hit in Australia, the UK and US and is still played regularly today as an unofficial Australian national anthem.
Gallipoli feature film – 1981
Gallipoli remains one of the most loved of all Australian films. It’s one of Weir’s most nakedly emotional films and one of his most poetic.
Goodbye Paradise feature film – 1981
This evocative picture of the Gold Coast as paradise lost includes a gaudy, sleazy fun park, tawdry politics and busloads of old ladies singing.
I Can Jump Puddles television program – 1981
Based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Alan Marshall, this story of struggle and courage has become a classic Australian tale.
The Killing of Angel Street feature film – 1981
This political thriller is loosely based on the disappearance of Sydney heiress and anti-development campaigner Juanita Nielsen.
Lonely Hearts feature film – 1981
Comedian and satirist John Clarke wrote this film with Paul Cox: no wonder it is full of bright impish humour.
Mad Max 2 feature film – 1981
Mad Max 2 is a more self-consciously mythic film than its predecessor, in a much more primal landscape, with a lot more action.
Monkey Grip feature film – 1981
In inner-city Melbourne in the late 1970s, Nora falls madly in love with Javo, an actor, but he loves heroin more.
A Personal History of the Australian Surf: Being the Confessions of a Straight Poofter documentary – 1981
His father told young Sydney-born theatre director Michael Blakemore that the world was divided into three groups, 'fools, crooks and gentlemen’.
Puberty Blues feature film – 1981
When the two teenage girls at the heart of this film buy a surfboard and teach themselves to surf, they become their own role models.
Public Enemy Number One documentary – 1981
Public Enemy Number One gives insight into journalist Wilfred Burchett’s motives in covering wars from the enemy’s point of view.
Two Laws documentary – 1981
The concept of two laws – colonial and Indigenous law – can also be spoken about as two ways of storytelling or filmmaking.
Waterloo documentary – 1981
Tom Zubrycki’s skills as a documentary filmmaker are clearly evident in this history of the redevelopment of Waterloo in Sydney.
We Have Survived music – 1981
The No Fixed Address version of Bart Willoughby’s ‘We Have Survived’ has became an unofficial anthem for Australia’s Aboriginal community.
Winter of Our Dreams feature film – 1981
It was surprising that this uncompromising film about a junkie prostitute’s failure to find love, would work so well with audiences.
Wrong Side of the Road feature film – 1981
Most black bands before this were playing country and western – Us Mob, Coloured Stone and No Fixed Address were among the first to play rock or reggae.