Saturday, May 31, 2008

Maidens an autobiographical essay film (1978)

A clip from Maidens

In a way making Island Home Country has been a revisiting of both Maidens and Tasmania, growing up, as I did, in the repressive era of the 1940s-1950s on that island. Returning to Tasmania in 2004 to make this film I began to excavate into the hard crust of my early childhood memories of a peaceful island with the reality of colonisation and the attempted genocide of the island peoples. When I made Maidens I had no idea of colonisation and 'what had really happened'. I lived in an all 'white world'. The Island Home Country project was conceived amidst the bitter time of ‘the history wars’ as ‘a work of mourning’, utilising psychoanalysis to make some kind of reckoning with history. I was interested in the relevance of the Mitscherlich’s research on post war Germans and their seeming total repression of Germany’s painful past straight after the war. As well I wanted to explore the kinds of amnesia represented in both my upbringing and in my films. As Christopher Koch (1987) writes in Crossing the Gap: A Novelist’s Essay, "we who lived (in Tasmania) between the thirties and the fifties were living in the half-light of a dying British Empire; but we only slowly came to realise it. The culture based in London was the imaginary pole star of our world. "

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