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Australia Today – Man-Eater (1939)


This Australia Today newsreel looks at the ‘silent terrors of the deep’ – sharks. It begins on the beautiful beaches of Sydney, makes its way through the murky waters of the Georges River where terror strikes, and finally travels out to sea with the fisheries on a hunt for the shark.

Curator’s notes

While Rupert Kathner’s newsreels can be seen as overdramatic to a modern viewer, both the awareness of beach safety, as well as the work of beach patrols and lifesavers, provides a strong vignette of Australian beach culture. While shark attacks on populated beaches are statistically not that common, their often sensational nature and the media coverage they provoke, as exampled in this newsreel, has resulted in the image of the shark as an ever present danger floating just below the surface of an otherwise idyllic beach culture in Australia.