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Duncan Gibbs
06-22-2015, 08:39 AM
A terrific adaptation of Kate Grenville's novel set in Colonial New South Wales was screened on our national broadcaster over the last two weekends. It had some lovely boats in it as a bonus.

http://tvssp.abc.net.au/ssp_director/p.php?a=Qnt%2BbUxrZXdbSGdjcG92ZG1uSXN7anxna2pgb2VN c3pNWmBkYW5gZn95ez1ucWwuPyAwJTM6MisyPDEuIystJz4wPz 4zPzI9JzI%2FNC0%2BLj8m&m=1434007772

http://resources3.news.com.au/images/2015/06/11/1227393/337791-9620f72e-1004-11e5-a702-12ba795536d9.jpg

http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2015/06/15/1227398/580484-4dbdbcc4-130b-11e5-865c-0a68221dbf80.jpg

http://tvssp.abc.net.au/ssp_director/p.php?a=QXp3XkdiZGFqYmJuf3deZGxVYm9sVH1jc2N7L2hiYD knJDY%2FMjsjKD4%2BMj81LTM3JicrPDsmNzcqOS0yPjI5JyI% 3D&m=1434007761

http://tvssp.abc.net.au/ssp_director/p.php?a=Rn9zcntveT1uemwuJjI2Jzo6Jis9PjouNioxNC4jKy AiPjQjJjs%2FNCY%2BLiY0&m=1434007749

The novel I haven't read, but will after my current crop of books. The story is a very simple one, but it beautifully weaves in the complexities of colonial life, in particular the relationship between the settlers, convicts and the Aboriginal population that had inhabited the land for millennia.

Tim Minchin, pictured immediately above, was a stand out as "Smasher."

Paul Pless
06-22-2015, 08:41 AM
Thanks Duncan. Maybe I'll pretend to be an Aussie and see if I can stream it here.

skuthorp
06-22-2015, 08:46 AM
Advertising put me off, seeing I know none of these encounters actually ended well.
I am cynical enough already.

PeterSibley
06-22-2015, 08:54 AM
The same, I've read too much and I've heard a reading of the book but the inevitability of the whole thing isn't attractive..

skuthorp
06-22-2015, 08:57 AM
The facts are bad enough, I don't need faction.

Duncan Gibbs
06-22-2015, 09:22 AM
I think you both should either read the book or watch the only two episodes. As I said this story exposed the complexities of the time and this is not uninteresting. The photography is absolutely stunning and all the characters really well drawn.

This is TV at its eye-banging best.

You'd be foolish to dismiss it as "faction" and as un-needed. It's not light viewing for sure, but that's no reason to avoid it.

Plus it's got some really nice boats!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7UNrdx5TaWQ/VYeOp6MVqTI/AAAAAAAAEeM/6uYCvIduZxE/s1600/The.Secret.River.Part.2.jpg

http://watchmovieseries.net/files/galleries/15919/0c436acb16558cb617277d38b77108bc.jpg

skuthorp
06-22-2015, 09:29 AM
Duncan I haven't successfully read fiction of any sort since I was about 25. Before that I had an armful of books twice a week. Now I regard it as a waste of time reading made up stories. But I read a lot of fact on all sorts of subjects. Only thing I draw the line at are auto biographies of past Australian PM's. Probably half fiction anyhow.

Duncan Gibbs
06-22-2015, 09:39 AM
I'm not big on fiction either Jeff, but having experienced the summary of experience delivered by the mini-series I have a feeling the book will grab me. Language used well is language used well and it will have a positive effect no matter its literary setting. Shakespeare is all fiction, but still enunciates philosophy and morality as well as those whose sole quest is to only enunciate philosophy and morality. We all know how Hamlet ends, but that doesn't stop us pouring over those words again and again and again.

I sincerely believe you'd be missing out on this one Jeff. It's such a significant story for us a nation and I doubt it's been ever told with this kind of depth, sensitivity and understanding.

Wooden Boat Fittings
06-22-2015, 10:05 AM
I'm with Duncan on this. I spent hours listening to the story on CD in the car a while ago, and to see it brought to life on film was great. To be honest, I'm surprised they restricted it to only two episodes, as they necessarily left a good bit of the story details out. But what was there was accurate (ie true to the novel), which is more than you can say for many TV adaptations.

I thought it was very well done, and that it honestly depicted a little of (white) Australia's early history.

Oh yes, and the boats were real ones. not epoxied-ply. (I wonder who got the contract for providing them?)

Catch it on iView here (http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/secret-river/DR1338V001S00) and here (http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/secret-river/DR1338V002S00).

Mike

Phil Y
06-22-2015, 05:45 PM
I enjoyed it. I'm not a missionary so I don't think anyone has to see it if they don't want to.

skuthorp
06-22-2015, 05:49 PM
I think it would just make me angry. A great uncle I never met was a RN captain of a China Seas gunboat in the late 1800's. He said the Chinese had the right idea about missionaries, "catch them on the beach and knock their heads off right away". Said it wasn't so much the missionaries but the trading and slaving scum that followed them.
Reported by his younger brother, my grandfather.

Stiletto
06-22-2015, 05:55 PM
I'll keep an eye out for it coming to NZ. What river was it filmed on?

PeterSibley
06-22-2015, 06:40 PM
I think it would just make me angry. A great uncle I never met was a RN captain of a China Seas gunboat in the late 1800's. He said the Chinese had the right idea about missionaries, "catch them on the beach and knock their heads off right away". Said it wasn't so much the missionaries but the trading and slaving scum that followed them.
Reported by his younger brother, my grandfather.

The left hand holds the Bible, the right hand holds the gun.

Phil Y
06-22-2015, 07:34 PM
I'll keep an eye out for it coming to NZ. What river was it filmed on? The Hawkesbury. Lovely scenery.

Duncan Gibbs
06-22-2015, 07:54 PM
I think it would just make me angry.
Anger is certainly one emotion that might arise, but like I keep saying the story reveals more complexity than you'd expect. I'm not wanting to be evangelistic about it, but I think you're coming at the story with a dead weight of expectation. It's certainly a sad story, but not the one you think you're going to be told.

Stiletto
06-22-2015, 08:38 PM
The Hawkesbury. Lovely scenery.

I thought so, I loved visiting that area when I lived in Sydney.

Duncan Gibbs
06-23-2015, 01:36 AM
As I would imagine Rick. As I would imagine.

I guess what I came away from the series with was a sense that there were a variety of different attitudes within the group of settlers on how they should conduct themselves toward the Aboriginals. But that the sad climax was one where view of an aggressive minority became the predominating one and that complicity in those views and actions is one of enduring shame. Having said that the settlers were the lowest of the low in the old country, having been spared the noose for transportation, or the promise of something better, "free" settlement in place of or debtors' prison. Suddenly they're on another planet as far as they're concerned, usually illiterate, or uneducated, unsupported by the government. What happened after that was almost inevitable. There are still no excuses for it, as the ending points out.

Strangely enough there are also examples up around here where there was a strange form of integration that took place, where many Aboriginal people on the Gold Coast ended up in the service of the government and earning more cash than many white people. A friend of mine's grandfather and his father before that were the Gold Coast harbourmasters and his family were deeply involved in creating some of the first canal estates in behind Surfers Paradise. My friend feels it's important to tell whole stories of various times and places in order to understand the complexity and depth of issues facing Aboriginals today particularly in order to dismiss any one-size-fits all 'solutions' that has ruled policy up until now.

Did you watch it as well? If so, what did you think of it?

Duncan Gibbs
06-24-2015, 04:12 AM
That's an interesting conclusion. What are the reasons you reached that one? Apparently the work is based on her research into her own ancestor Solomon Wiseman. What part is "delusional" within the remit that it is a work of fiction however grounded it is in historical research. "Fabulous" isn't the word that came to mind watching the TV show. I'm interested...

Wooden Boat Fittings
06-24-2015, 09:29 AM
... historicofabulist.

That's an interesting word, too. Is it of your invention? If not, where did you find it?

AussieBarney
06-24-2015, 05:49 PM
Duncan, I do realise that there are pretty timber boats and some rather ordinary film shots of the Hawksbury River, but, I reckon it is the normal revisionist, sanitised and romanticised crap that passes for "Historical" drama in this country. This is the period in Australian history of the lash and rum, of terror and brutality on a stupendous scale, of mind numbing social exclusion, of the attempted killing of an entire race of people. I would rather watch a test pattern. It would be better for my sanity and blood pressure....Sorry mate, pretty boats not withstanding.

PeterSibley
06-24-2015, 06:50 PM
seconded

Duncan Gibbs
06-24-2015, 07:16 PM
I'm surprised. This deals quite directly with the taking of land and massacres of Aboriginals, both by poison, disease and the gun and sword. The entire story leads up to this as its climax and certainly doesn't make any attempt to sanitise, or revise it. It makes it abundantly clear that it was brutal and it was wrong and that those who carried out such acts knew it was wrong, but did them anyway.

I'm not sure we should be turning away from telling such stories because they were brutal, but then again I can understand why everyone might not like to see such things. Not everyone likes movies like 'Downfall' and 'The Thin Red Line', two full on, but most excellent movies about WWII.

I'm still want to know why such a story is deluded, revisionist, confabulating or any of the other stuff when it goes straight at the terse and then brutal relationship between settlers and those whose lands they were grabbing.

Duncan Gibbs
06-24-2015, 08:49 PM
Ah, so fable means there's a moral at the end of the story? That makes sense.

The Bigfella
06-24-2015, 10:11 PM
Ah, so fable means there's a moral at the end of the story? That makes sense.

Actually..... historicofabulist was used (by someone else) in reference to Salman Rushdie's writings, way back in '09 albeit in hyphenated form. Old Mate picked it up and used it not long afterwards in one of Paladin's best threads on here.... which I won't link because I'd rather not risk OM blowing it up.

Suffice to say, it was an attempt by one to say that mouthing of long pig was a recognition of valour of one's opponent... despite the historical record showing its presence in dillybags for nutritional purposes.

The moral of the story is that sh!t happened and still happens in far too many places. Get over it.... and work for a better future. Dwelling in a pasteurised, sanitised, partially deconstructed and reconstructured past does no-one any good.

skuthorp
06-25-2015, 03:50 AM
"The moral of the story is that sh!t happened and still happens in far too many places. Get over it.... and work for a better future. Dwelling in a pasteurised, sanitised, partially deconstructed and reconstructured past does no-one any good."
And I second that. Applies to the US political situation in spades too.

Re Long Pig. On small islands remote from a large continent animal protein was at a premium, and long pig might be a nutritionally sensible way to go, no mattr how it was formalised.