Nation Is Built, A


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1938, 46 Minutes

At a picnic to celebrate Australia's 150th 'birthday', a family discusses significant events that shaped the nation. From re-enacting the arrival of the First Fleet and the birth of John Macarthur's wool-producing enterprise, the film then turns to the present, focusing on rural production, industrial efficiency and the splendid urban landscape of Sydney. As the introductory title grandly proclaims: "From so small a beginning has sprung the virile Australian Nation." Frank Hurley, at the peak of his fame as a photographer, film maker and adventurer, was the obvious choice to direct the film and he delivered spectacular imagery and patriotic commentary with gusto.

Very much a film of its time, with an overall message of progress, and full of statistics - bushels, bales, miles and tonnages abound - A Nation is Built takes national pride to superlative levels. However, much of Australia is missing, and Indigenous Australians and non-British migrants are simply absent. This is really a film about the history and progress of the first colony, New South Wales.

Distributed by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. © 2015 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


Constructing Australia: The Bridge


Director: Frank Hurley

Year: 1938

Running Time: 46 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum Links: Australian History, English, SOSE/HSIE. Major themes and concepts include national identity, economic growth, urban development.

SKU 201570600
Brand NFSA

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