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A Big Country – City Girls (1983)


A group of students from an exclusive girls’ school in Melbourne hike through the Bogong High Plains of Victoria’s Alpine National Park. With them is a smaller group of unemployed girls from a very different stratum of the population who are struggling to find their place in society.

Curator’s notes

The camerawork in this observational documentary is terrific, always capturing the revealing moments. There is a very distinct emphasis on the evolving character of one of the disadvantaged girls struggling to fit into the group. The script, written and narrated by Paul Williams, is appropriately warm and sympathetic and very well written, always a hallmark of A Big Country documentaries.

The tone of this episode is particularly important because of the focus on a girl struggling with low self-esteem. Jenny, who starts out as the ugly duckling of the group, grows in maturity over nine days of gruelling hiking, developing self-reliance and a will to continue despite adversity. Most importantly, she gains the respect of her companions.