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1976, Total Running Time 312 Minutes (6 x 52 Minutes)

A series of six films that explores past and present social structures, behavioural patterns and relationships, mores, beliefs, art, architecture and artefacts of the people of Asia.

Asian Insight: Hong Kong, Singapore - Fragrant Harbour/Lion City Beginning in Macau, this film records the historical events that brought Western powers—Dutch, American and English—to Asia. The realities of life in Hong Kong and Kowloon during the 1970s, the bustling urban areas and the New Territories on the border of China are examined. Singapore on the other hand, is a crowded island and the centre of trade and tourism. The film clearly draws comparisons as it looks at the cultural perspective of both countries. Hong Kong and Singapore are both governed by the professional ‘elite’ ruling class. However they have each produced very different societies under the pressure of history and circumstances.

Asian Insight: Indonesia - Unity in Diversity Nationalism, with its sense of unity, is something third world nations and those that have lived under colonialism don’t take for granted. For many it is still an ambition. Made in 1976, this film examines the basic philosophies of President Soekarno and the nationalistic principals that no one had as yet succeeded in transforming into practical reality in Indonesia.

Asian Insight: Japan - The Bamboo Bends and Does Not Break Modern Japan pulsates with people, colour and prosperity. But behind the everyday courtesies are time-honoured traditions and a society that seemingly is a paradox. Unravelling the history of this complex country leads to a renewed understanding of the Japanese people.

Asian Insight: Malaysia - Sparrow With Sparrow, Raven With Raven Chinese economic strength in a country where the Chinese are in the minority is a dilemma common throughout Southeast Asia. It is treated with care and understanding as to its effects on Malaysian life. Indian migration from as far back as the 4th century has brought different sorts of practices, styles and beliefs to Malaysia and this too has affected the racial balance of the culture. In 1976, this mixture was both a strength and a cause for concern.

Asian Insight: Philippines - The Furthest Cross The Philippines poses a problem of identity: to be Asian or otherwise. This film shows how the complex social structure of the Spanish and the religious cult of Santo Nino have not been disentangled from the church and the relics of folk religion. This long, often savage and brutal history reveals many of the unique aspects of Filipino life today.

Asian Insight: Thailand - Do Good Receive Good, Do Evil Receive Evil Thailand has never been colonized and there is little evidence of the kind of social organisations that modern western societies have found necessary to develop. This program attempts to analyse the mechanisms that hold Thailand together and to examine the historical and cultural background of Thailand, including the two threads of Buddhism and the monarchy.

A Film Australia, Australian Broadcasting Commission and University of Queensland Press Co-production.
© 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.



Director: Arch Nicholson

Narrator: John Temple

Year: 1976

Total Running Time: 312 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum Links: Asian History, Sociology: Studies of Colonialism and Post-Colonialism, Cultural Studies, SOSE. Major themes and concepts include national identity, immigration, racism, economic growth and urban development.


Flowers and the Wide Sea

Roads to Xanadu

Human Face of Indonesia, The

Human Face of Japan, The

SKU 002803300
Brand Film Australia

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