1976, 78 Minutes
Let the Balloon Go is a poignant story of a boy and his family living in a small Australian outback town in 1917, and set against the backdrop of a nation at war.
Young John Sumner has contracted polio and wears a leg brace. He also suffers mild epilepsy. While his brothers fight in the war overseas, John fights a much more personal battle – the battle for his own freedom. His anxious mother is afraid to let him play games and climb trees like other children. But John makes a determined effort to break free of his mother's protection and to win respect as an individual. With best mate Wombat the dog in tow, he causes mischief about town and proves he is capable of high adventure.
Along the way we meet the pompous Police Constable Baird, bumbling Acting Fire Chief Gifford, and the town eccentric, Major ‘Tiddly’ Fairleigh, all caught in hilariously comic situations.
Based on the novel by world-renowned author Ivan Southall, this story of letting go is straight from the heart of Australia.
A Film Australia Production for the Australian Film Commission. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director: Oliver Howes
Cinematographer: Dean Semler
Featured People: Robert Bettles (John Sumner), Janet Kingsbury (Mrs Sumner), John Ewart (PC Baird), Ben Gabriel (Mr Sumner), Sally Whiteman (Marnie), Mathew Wilson (Cecil), Terry McQuillan (Harry), Bruce Spence (Chief Gifford).
Running Time: 78 minutes
Curriculum Links: Australian Studies, Child and Family Studies, Disability Studies, English, Ethics, HSIE/SOSE, PDHPE, Health and Community Services, Human Services, Nursing, Social Work.