16 February 2010

The Hungry Miles - WWFFU

The Hungry Miles is a documentary made by Norma Disher, Keith Gow and Jock Levy for the (Australian) Waterside Workers' Federation Film Unit in 1955.

The Waterside Workers' Federation Film Unit [...] crossed the two intentions of 'art' and 'message' in a way which remains well worth study today. Its film-makers, harnessing the formal innovations of the new documentary, spoke for a group not other- wise represented in the mainstream media, engaging in cinema as a form of direct action mirroring the industrial and political campaigns which provided the content of some of their films.

The unit, with their Kombi, screened films in the traditional waterside communities of Woolloomooloo, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills. They went further afield, to Melbourne, and to the Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Wollongong dockside and mining areas. The films were bought by other unions, community groups, libraries and government departments, won prizes locally and overseas, and were to be found on the programs of film society and festival screenings throughout Australia.

from ‘The Waterside Workers Federation Film Unit: the forgotten frontier of the fifties’ by Martha Ansara and Lisa Milner