No going back: Continuity and change in Australian documentary

Deane Williams, John Hughes

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Documentary dealing with immigration and the migrant experience in Australia is a continuous thread running through Australian cinema, more recently eclipsed by works equally complex in their articulation of politics and culture, responding in different ways to Australia’s reaction to refugees and the troublesome obsession in Australian domestic political discourse with ‘border protection’. In what follows, we make reference to state-sponsored documentary of the early 1950s supporting immigration in post-war reconstruction, and to a number of recent documentary projects across a spectrum of contemporary forms, projects that respond to public debate around asylum seekers and refugees. Questions of editorial and creative independence and the relationship of these with Australian public television have become increasingly complex and problematic in recent times. The examples we discuss illustrate a diversity of strategies filmmakers have adopted in responding to recent developments in both the financing and production context, and the prominence of political contestation concerning refugee policy. But before turning to the films themselves, aspects of this political and film production context need to be outlined
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPost-1990 Documentary
Subtitle of host publicationReconfiguring Independence
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780748694143
ISBN (Print)9780748694136
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'No going back: Continuity and change in Australian documentary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this