Wednesday, April 30, 2008

remembering, repeating, working through

We finished the film last night. Assistant editor Andrew Corsi and I working through this last (almost) year to bring this project to completion, a project that began in 2004. Karen Pearlman joined me as editor in 2005. I keep Karen's text on my mobile: when she got my 4 hour assembly (from 40 hours). She texted: A cut is born - 90mins 35sec and 15 frames. Karen delivered picture lock off (52mins)last June 07 and due, in part, to the film's commitment and responsibility to the the Tasmanian Aboriginal Protocols process, Andrew and I have taken almost a year to make the required changes and to then complete the online work. Sharon Jakovsky completed the final mix two weeks ago; So many people to thank - but a special thank you right now is due to Sarah Gibson (script and project consultant), Toula Anastas (production supervisor), Megan McMurchy (consultant producer), my whole extended family, especially Stephen Ginsborg and of course all those who appear in the film: my sister Jan Thornley, Auntie Merle Archer, Cousin Leigh Archer, Aunty Phyllis Pitchford – nunarng, Jim Everett - puralia meenamatta, Julie Gough, Penny X Saxon, Clive Atkinson, Moni Lai Storz, Dur-e Dara, Julie Janson, Anthony Bell, Rinki Bhattacharya and Arundhati Roy.
And here is a 3 min quicktime (Thanks Andrew.) It is from a sequence of the film about private memory and public memory and the fluid movement between the two. I have called the clip remembering, repeating, working through after Freud's 1914 essay. Also the film, for me, is about this process of remembering the past and working it through - both personally and in the public arena. The 2008 Apology is perhaps the most recent example of historical memory enacting and reverberating through our lives in so many ways. Yet, as Noel Pearson says in When Words Aren't Enough, "Blackfellas will get the words, the whitefellas will keep the money. And by Thursday the Stolen Generations and their apology will be over as a political issue."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Australia's Sacred Sites Anzac Day - my pa

Dear Pa,
I am writing this letter to you on Anzac Day eve. Here you are as a young Anzac and this is my narration in an Anzac sequence in my current documentary ISLAND HOME COUNTRY. I am writing to ask your permission to use the photo in the film along with this narration: Here’s some film I shot of white Australia’s national day of mourning - where we remember the dead - fallen in World War 1 at Gallipoli. The old diggers remind me of our Pa. The World War 1 gunner, dying of mustard gas poisoning in his sick bed. A historian says Australia can mourn these soldiers, but what about the Aboriginal warriors who fought for country when the British invaded? Can they be mourned by the nation as well?
The historian I am referring to is Henry Reynolds. I like the way he opens the map to include the colonial war fought between the British and the First Australians as a war we must commemorate too. And that it is important to move beyond Britain and Germany's war, a war we sent our service men to with such blind obedience to Mother England. Here Reynolds talks about these wars, these events we mourn and make monuments to ( or not) , with Rachel Khon and Ken Inglis on The Spirit of Things, ABC 2001.
Henry Reynolds: If we make the centrepiece of our celebration, our invasion of Turkey, a country we knew nothing about and had no direct experience with, I can’t see why we can’t come to terms with our invasion of Australia.

But more than ever before, Pa, I can hold the memory of you and honour your life and what you suffered in the trenches of World War 1. You were a kind and loving grandfather to us all. I think I felt something of the pain you carried from that war, even when I was a child at Invermay at your and Nan's house.
I am thinking of you,
your loving grand daughter, Jeni.