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Australia, 1991 (MIFF 1991, Documentaries)

Director: Tom Zubrycki

Illegal screenings of the unfinished Amongst Equals have taken place in a variety of forums across the country since January when controversy erupted in the media. But the issue remains unresolved and Amongst Equals will be shown in an innovative form for the first time at this festival. This new cut of the film incorporates aspects of its problematic production, underlining sequences where the sponsor demanded cuts thus specifying what can and cannot be said according to the official voice which claims a monopoly on the labour movement's past - the ACTU. The film, conceived and scripted by Tom Zubrycki, was funded in 1988 through the Australian Bicentennial Authority and produced by Film Australia. It was designed to be a "critical appraisal of the trade union movement in Australia suitable for prime time television". The film has not been completed because of a protracted dispute between the ACTU and the producers over the content of the film.

In January 1991, journalists in Melbourne and Sydney took up the story and the ACTU was accused of misusing public funds and of censorship. The trade union movement itself was divided on the issue, with many unions actively supporting the film's completion against the official ACTU position. Prominent figures in the arts, journalism and the union movement came out in support of the project and sponsored illegal screenings of the unfinished work under the slogan "see the film the ACTU wants to ban - decide for yourself. Here's your chance. (J.H.)

Tom Zubrycki will be present for discussion after the screening.

(Also note his new film Bran Nue Dae is also screening at this year's Festival)

See also...


Sydney documentanst and MFF regular, Tom Zubrycki (Bran Nue Dae, Friends and Enemies) continues on his unpredictable way with this intriguing, dramatic documentary portrait of an emigre family, shot ... More »


Tom Zubrycki's new film (following Friends and Enemies, Kemira etc.) follows performances of Broome's Aboriginal musical Bran Nue Dae, from rehearsal and development to the rapturous reviews and its ... More »


This new film from Tom Zubrycki (Kemira - Diary of a Strike, Friends and Enemies) was made for ABC and Channel Four television. Set in Broome the film is a study in the late '80s ambivalence over ... More »


Tom Zubrycki's documentary The Diplomat (MIFF 2000) focused on the struggle for independence in East Timor and its impact both politically and personally. In Molly and Mobarak, Zubrycki turns his ... More »


“This is a marvellous film, strong in narrative, imagery, argument and character.” - Inside Story ... Seasoned filmmaker Tom Zubrycki (Molly & Mobarak, MIFF 2003; The Diplomat, MIFF 2000) shows ... More »


In February 1985 Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen sacked 1002 electrical linesmen and rushed through Parliament some of the harshest anti-union legislation seen in Australia for over 50 years ... More »

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