Zubryckis point: Amongst Equals, utilitarian film in the Australian labour movement

Hughes, J 2019, 'Zubryckis point: Amongst Equals, utilitarian film in the Australian labour movement', Studies in Documentary Film, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 103-126.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Zubryckis point: Amongst Equals, utilitarian film in the Australian labour movement
Author(s) Hughes, J
Year 2019
Journal name Studies in Documentary Film
Volume number 13
Issue number 2
Start page 103
End page 126
Total pages 24
Publisher Routledge
Abstract A film history project on the Australian trade union movement commissioned in the late 1980s for Australias bicentennial year, 1988, came to grief over differing views of the labour movements past and contention around the rights and ethics of the filmmaker when a work is commissioned or sponsored. In the political context of the late 1980s there had been a decade of collaboration between trade unions and artists, but in this case filmmaker Tom Zubrycki was caught in a web of intrigue and complex agendas as he sought to complete this sponsored film. Zubrycki challenged the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) for the right to finish and distribute Amongst Equals, but without success. The struggle to resolve the Amongst Equals dispute continued for years and flared into a heated public debate. This case study illustrates dilemmas facing the artist, historian or filmmaker making sponsored work. A feature-length version of the unfinished film, not seen since 1991with inter-titles identifying scenes that the ACTU wanted revised or deleted was screened by Melbourne Cinematheque in October 2018, marking 30 years since the Australian bicentennial.
Subject Cinema Studies
Film and Television
Keyword(s) art and working life
Australian labour movement
film and trade unions
Tom Zubrycki
Utilitarian film
DOI - identifier 10.1080/17503280.2019.1595920
Copyright notice © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN 1750-3280
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