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Belief systems

The following clips have teachers’ notes related to this topic:

Everything has a cycle

from the documentary 5 Seasons (G)

Tom E Lewis introduces the concept of five seasons over footage of an overflowing Rose River – the land inundated with water, followed by a montage of a dry riverbed. Lewis describes the wet season over …

Water and fire

from the documentary 5 Seasons (G)

Tom E Lewis gives a brief introduction into how Arnhemland society is structured. There are 12 clans in Numbulwar, and the society is divided into two moieties. The two moieties in Arnhemland are water and …

God is love

from the documentary Alicia (PG)

A doctor describes Alicia’s condition and poor prognosis after the accident. Alicia and her family re-enact how they gathered round her hospital bed to pray while she is in a critical condition. Alicia and …

Jesus’s belly button

from the documentary The Art of Healing (G)

The artists talk about the response to the paintings on the Santa Teresa church wall. We see an Aboriginal interpretation of biblical characters such as Jesus and Moses.

Bliss, punishment, heaven and hell

from the feature film Bliss (PG)

Harry Joy (Barry Otto) is a successful advertising man, with a nice house, a wife he loves (Lynette Curran) and two children, David (Miles Buchanan) and Lucy (Gia Carides). After a long birthday lunch, Henry …


from the documentary Breakout (PG)

The Japanese POWs were apprehensive about going home after the war. In interview, Mr Takahara speaks about his return to a family that had already conducted his funeral and called him …

The convent must change

from the television program Brides of Christ (PG)

Mother Superior (Sandy Gore) asks the nuns to spend some time reading and thinking about how they might deal with the changes suggested by Vatican II. Sister Catherine (Josephine Byrnes) is keen to discard old …

Mary MacKillop

from the documentary The Business of Making Saints (PG)

Using stills, interviews and voice-over, this clip describes Mary MacKillop as a woman of initiative and leadership, with a vision for providing services to the needy on a national level. Her independence raised the ire …

Flying friar

from the documentary The Business of Making Saints (PG)

Saint Joseph of Cupertino levitated regularly while praying, occasionally requiring the use of ropes to anchor him.

Buddha and the Bodhi Tree

from the television program Compass – Buddha Realms, Part 1 (PG)

Dr Rachel Kohn takes us to India where the Buddha sat and meditated under the Bodhi Tree for four weeks, resolving to find the origin of suffering and the means to eliminate it.

On being young and Muslim in Australia

from the television program Compass – Islam on Parade (PG)

Waleed Aly and Susan Carland spend a great deal of their spare time talking to other Australians about their faith. They’re very much the ideal Aussie couple. They’re also devout Muslims, Waleed was …

A fashion parade with a difference

from the television program Compass – Islam on Parade (PG)

A group of Muslim Australian women travel all over Melbourne to put on their very special brand of fashion parade. Afterwards they stay to talk to the audience about their faith and especially why they …

Giving peace a chance

from the television program Compass – Quakers: Seeking the Light Within (PG)

This clip features an interview with Sarah Davies, a Quaker who comes from a family of Quakers. Her grandfather was a conscientious objector during the Second World War. Sarah herself has travelled with the World …

The Friends’ School

from the television program Compass – Quakers: Seeking the Light Within (PG)

Peter Jones is a teacher of comparative religion at the Friends’ School in Tasmania. He feels that only by understanding each other’s religion can we truly accept other people’s differences.

An open letter

from the television program Compass – The Cardinal's Cousin (PG)

Monica tells us why she felt obliged to make public her letter to her cousin, Cardinal George Pell, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. It’s a heart-rending appeal to a family member to treat …

Growing up Muslim in America

from the television program Compass – Tomorrow's Islam (PG)

Faiz Khan is a medical doctor born and raised in the USA. He’s never been trained as a preacher but since 9/11 he feels he should speak out as a Muslim whose own …

‘Your body is your worst enemy’

from the feature film The Devil's Playground (PG)

Brother Francine (Arthur Dignam) berates Tom Allen (Simon Burke) for showering without his swimming trunks. In the common room, the boys relax before their daily mass.

A church community

from the television program Divine Service – The House of Freedom Church, Brisbane (G)

A collection of people, mainly consisting of families and young people, have come together in a suburban living room to celebrate Christ. It’s a group that’s responding to the gospel message. Please note …

Eternity is a long time

from the documentary Eternity (G)

Arthur Stace writes the word 'Eternity’ in chalk on Sydney’s streets. Director of photography, Dion Beebe, uses black-and-white film to capture the mood and time of Sydney in the 1930s.


from the documentary First Contact (PG)

Michael Leahy’s photographs and footage show the highlanders surrounding and looking at a gramophone (with a 1930s recording of ‘Looking on the Bright Side of Life’ playing on the soundtrack). In an interview, later …

Today’s nuns

from the documentary God's Girls: Stories from an Australian Convent (PG)

By the early 1990s it was likely that the Roman Catholic order of nuns, the Sisters of Mercy, was going to die out. Women who have chosen to stay in the order explain their reasons …

Between Japan and Australia

from the documentary Green Tea and Cherry Ripe (G)

This clip begins with Chiaki Foster speaking to camera about her love of bingo and poker machines. She is filmed playing bingo and heard in voice-over speaking about the friends she has made. Her daughter …

A surprise visit

from the television program Harp in the South (PG)

Sister Theopilus (Kirrily Nolan) and Sister Beatrix (Dinah Shearing), two of the teaching nuns from Roie’s old school have come on a surprise visit to see Roie. As they leave, Grandma (Gwen Plumb) appears …

‘The gods are angry’

from the documentary The Healing of Bali (PG)

The Balinese people believe that the bombing of a nightclub was a sign of displeasure by the gods. Psychiatrist Dr Denny Thong explains the feeling of the people. A temple priest, Mangku Sakenan, explains that …

Missionary Hawaii

from the documentary Hula Girls, Imagining Paradise (PG)

Stephen Eisenman, author and Professor of Art History in Illinois, explains the negative impacts of colonialism and imperialism on traditional Tahitian life. English missionaries reformed the ‘sinful natives’ of Hawaii and French missionaries converted many …

The issue of conscription

from the television program Interview with Archbishop Mannix (PG)

In this excerpt from an interview with Dr Daniel Mannix, the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Mannix describes the circumstances in which he advocated against conscription during the First World War.

No kissing allowed

from the short feature Jewboy (PG)

Yuri (Ewan Leslie) helps his grandmother Minnie (Naomi Wilson) as she clears up in the kitchen. Her forearm has the tattoo given to those who were sent to concentration camps during the Second World War …

Soot-blackened arrows

from the documentary Joe Leahy's Neighbours (G)

At a village gathering, the father of a wounded Ganiga man, shot by a Gaimelka man, has a stand-off with a Lutheran pastor who had been trying to calm things down. Taking no notice of …

‘I don’t mean you’

from the documentary My Mother India (PG)

In 1984 the Uberoi family has to leave India to escape the anti-Sikh riots. The filmmaker’s sister Zoe describes her distress when a school friend criticises the Sikhs but says she means nothing against …

‘The fate of a whole universe …’

from the television program Ocean Girl – Series 2, Episode 3 (G)

Neri (Marzena Godecki) is stunned when a hologram of her long-dead father (Robert Cooper) appears. He explains some of her history and how their mission was to watch over human colonisation of the sea. He …

The words of the prophet

from the feature film Son of a Lion (PG)

Niaz (Niaz Khan Shinwari) visits a refugee community and asks an artist, Agha Jaan (Agha Jaan), to read him a letter from his cousin Anousha in Peshawar. Agha Jaan comments on Niaz’s inability to …

The sound of music

from the feature film Son of a Lion (PG)

Niaz (Niaz Khan Shinwari) hears music and follows the sound to its source – a youth playing a traditional stringed instrument with great intensity. Niaz is transfixed. His uncle (Baktiyar Ahmed Afridi) rings his father (Sher …

The youth conference

from the documentary Temple of Dreams (G)

Fadi introduces the workshop session of the youth conference. The attendees and facilitators break into discussion groups and talk about a range of issues.

Christianity and intermarriage

from the documentary Temple on the Hill (PG)

An Indian man who has married an Australian woman and become a Christian visits his mother and father at home with his wife. They all talk frankly about his choice.

What is culture?

from the documentary Warren H Williams, the stories, the songs (G)

Warren H Williams and John Williamson singing a song beneath the shadow of Uluru. Warren H Williams explains what culture means to him.

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