Presenter/s: National Sound and Film Archive
Event type: Film screening
Event date: Wednesday, 22 November 2017 - 7:00pm
Event venue: NFSA, McCoy Circuit, ANU
This 1983 documentary is a unique and superbly crafted history of women and work in Australia.
A concurrence of initiatives arising from the 1977 Women’s Film Production Workshop and the 1978 inaugural Women and Labour Conference, resulted in four filmmakers – Megan McMurchy, Margot Nash, Margot Oliver and Jeni Thornley – commencing a film history of Australian women at work. Meticulous research unearthed an extensive collection of material – feature films, home movies, news and newsreels, documentaries, television shows, commercials, photographs, radio shows, diaries, popular music, letters and interviews – dating back to the 18th century and showing women, of every decade and every background, at work in all its myriad forms. Over five years in the making, the film – an epic 109 minutes long – is set out in four parts: Hard Labour (1788-1914), Daughters of Toil (1914-1939), Working for the Duration (1939-1969) and Work of Value (1969-1983). A narration by Noni Hazlehurst connects hundreds of excerpts from hundreds of historical sources, painstakingly collected and reproduced. At a time when historical footage reproduction meant interpositives and internegatives, and costings per feet and frames, it’s almost impossible to imagine the methodical cataloguing and ordering of the material involved. - Adrienne Parr, ASO
The documentary's filmmakers - Megan McMurchy, Margot Nash, Margot Oliver and Jeni Thornley - will be introducing the film and taking part in a Q&A.