1952, 57 Minutes
Made just after World War Two, Mike and Stefani follows a family of displaced persons from their refugee camp in a devastated Germany to their new home in Australia. It features moving re-enactments of their travails in Europe: chronicling the wartime separation of the young Ukrainian couple, the difficulties of the labour camps, the loneliness and chaos, their eventual reunion and their application to emigrate. The final sequences, filmed as they actually occurred in Bavaria, show their selection interview and journey to Australia with some of their family.
Commissioned by the Department of Immigration, Mike and Stefani had a two-fold purpose: to counter criticism within Australia that immigration selection procedures for displaced persons were inadequate and that “undesirables” were slipping through the net; and to encourage Australians to accept the sudden influx of non-British immigrants in the immediate post-war years.
Mike and Stefani is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and an eye-opening look at immigration experiences. More than half a century later, the subject matter of this gritty realist drama is still as relevant as ever.
Produced for the Department of Immigration by the Department of the Interior. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director: R Maslyn Williams
Running Time: 57 Minutes