2005, Total Running Time 156 Minutes
Around 200,000 Australians marry every year. Over 43 per cent of these marriages will fail.
This three-part series takes a close-up and personal look at divorce as people reveal their experiences, from marriage to breakup, conflict to compromise. We go inside homes, mediation offices and the courtroom to hear from couples, their children, judges and a private investigator. The result is an honest and compassionate exploration of an important contemporary issue - one that is having a huge impact not just on individuals, but on our society and our future.
Breaking Up (52 Minutes) Disagreements, suspicions, guilt, doubt, shock, loneliness...breaking up is usually difficult, especially if children are involved. This episode explores the reasons why people marry, their needs and expectations, and what goes wrong with the dream. Danny’s wife has left him after four children and 27 years together. Melissa’s secret doubts have been confirmed. Nikki rocked the boat when she left her husband for another woman, and Katherine longs to break free of her husband’s control. Justin wasn’t ready to give up his single lifestyle; however, he and his wife Ali have decided on counselling.
Conflict (52 Minutes) When a relationship breaks down irretrievably, people are sometimes forced to the legal system to reach a compromise. This episode takes you inside mediation offices and the law courts where angry claims and counter-claims create some heart-rending situations. Elderly pensioners argue bitterly over money. One mother seeks to publish a photo of her baby who has been missing for two months, having not been returned by the father. Another woman accuses her former partner of drug use, while another believes her ex is molesting their children and has refused him access.
Rebuilding (52 Minutes) Life after divorce doesn’t have to be marred by bitterness and dysfunction. This episode introduces us to three families who are rebuilding their lives after divorce. Jessica and her dad have not spoken for two years but both are keen to reconcile despite their difficulties. Josh and Liliana live on different floors in the same house so they can share access to their children. And Leona, her ex-husband, their kids and her new husband share a warm, close relationship.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
DirectorS: Steve Westh (Series Director), Jessica Douglas-Henry (Co-director)
Total Running Time: 156 Minutes
Classification: M. Consumer advice: Family breakdown themes
Curriculum Links: Human Services, Community & Family Studies, Law/Legal Studies, SOSE/HSIE, Sociology, Counselling, English and Media.