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BEACH, THE

Year: 2000

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: PG

Runtime: 52 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Don Featherstone

Produced By: David Woodgate, Don Featherstone

Language: English

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A host of leading creative talents, including writers Les Murray and Tim Winton, artist Ken Done, choreographer Graeme Murphy, and composer Peter Sculthorpe contribute to this examination of the beach as an expression of the Australian psyche.

Australians are the most beach-conscious people on earth. The beach has become their defining experience. They 'do beach' better than anyone else, which is not surprising since three out of four of them live fifteen minutes from the sea. The beach has come to be the lens through which they view and interpret their lives.

For many years, the vast interior and its rugged inhabitant - the 'digger' - dominated the Australian consciousness but today the beach defines the national character. It symbolises the country's democratic way of life, its surge towards modernity, its symbolic naked freedom, virile youth and strength and its sexual gaze through the glare of the sun.

In this film, the seashore, ever-changing in its moods, is in the foreground and it is observed and celebrated not only in tantalising location footage but also in a wealth of artistic representations: paintings, poetry, fiction, dance, all inspired by Australia's unique asset - the longest coastline of any country in the world. This work is a key to understanding why the beach has sometimes been portrayed as a source for Australia's deepest meanings and sometimes simply as a mirror for a hedonistic, escapist society.

  • WINNER! Outstanding Achievement Award - International Electronic Cinema Festival, Chiba, Japan, 2001

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