The Barossa Film Club presents an Australian documentary film “The Back of Beyond” at its next screening on Friday 20th March.
The Back of Beyond (1954) is a feature-length award-winning Australian documentary film produced and directed by John Heyer for the Shell Film Unit. In terms of breadth of distribution, awards garnered, and critical response, it is Heyer’s most successful film. It is also, arguably, Australia’s most successful documentary: in 2006 it was included in a book titled 100 Greatest Films of Australian Cinema, with Bill Caske writing that it is “perhaps our [Australia’s] national cinema’s most well known best kept secret”.
The aim of the film, as requested by the Shell Company, was to associate Shell with the essence of Australia, with Australianism. Heyer took as his central motif the fortnightly journey made by mailman Tom Kruse, along the remote Birdsville Track from Marree, in South Australia, to Birdsville, in southwest Queensland. In 1957, Heyer wrote that this film, when viewed with Francis Birtles’ earlier In the Track of Burke and Wills (1916), “clearly suggest[s] that the true image of Australia is, and always has been, the image of Man against Nature”. The film brought Tom Kruse to public notice, and resulted in his being appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) on 1 January 1955.
The Club’s Annual General Meeting will commence at 6.45 pm, followed by New Zealand short “Ebony Society” at 7.30, a break for refreshments, and then the main film, at Faith Wine Centre, Friday 20th March. Inquiries to President Imelda Carson on 8564 8224