My Father, My Country


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1989, 56 Minutes

In 1938 three Australian patrol officers - Jim Taylor, John Black and Pat Walsh - set off on an epic journey into the unexplored highlands of Papua New Guinea. Their purpose: to make contact with "stone age" tribes who knew nothing of the outside world and explain to them that their lives were about to undergo incredible change.

Fifty years later, Jim's daughter Meg took time off from her legal practice and set out on her own journey of discovery, retracing the footsteps of her father's historic patrol. On the two-and-a-half month expedition, Meg and her fellow travellers have to cope with illness, fatigue and constant rain as they find their way through almost trackless jungle over one of the highest mountain ranges in Papua New Guinea.

Along the way, Meg meets people who vividly recall the day her father's patrol arrived. Having no knowledge of the outside world, they thought the white men were spirits of the dead they'd buried, come back to life to harm them. Meg's observations of how her country has coped since then are combined with excerpts from her father's beautifully written journal to provide a personal and poetic narrative about an extraordinary meeting of cultures.

A Film Australia National Interest Program in association with the National Geographic Society. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


Writer/Director/Producer: Peter Butt

Featured People: Meg Taylor (Narrator), Bill Gammage

Year: 1989

Running Time: 56 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum Links: History of Papua New Guinea; Pacific Studies; Cultural Studies; Colonialism and Post Colonialism.


Colonists For a Day


SKU 198704300
Brand Film Australia

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