Rats in the Ranks


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1996, 94 Minutes

Ambition, courage, envy, betrayal, disaster, triumph ... in other words a classic study of politics.

Every September Sydney’s Leichhardt Council elects its mayor. Incumbent Larry Hand is popular with the citizenry but they don’t vote for mayor, the 12 councillors do - and after three years of Larry, some of them are after his job. And politics is a bruising business - the best policies in the world mean nothing unless you’ve got the numbers. Rats in the Ranks takes a close, behind-locked-doors look at how politicians get the numbers.

Filmmakers Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson gained extraordinary access to the councillors during the struggle for the mayoralty. Arms are twisted, favours called in, people are doublecrossed, damaging stories leaked to the media and deals are done. But right up to the vote, no one knows if the numbers will stick.

It’s a gripping real-life drama with a white knuckle climax - a fascinating portrait of how politics really works, captured by two of Australia’s most distinguished filmmakers.

A Film Australia and Arundel Films Co-Production in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Channel Four and La Sept ARTE. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

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Writers/Director/Producers: Robin Anderson, Bob Connolly

Featured People: Larry Hand, Evan Jones, Kate Butler, Neil Macindoe, Trevor Snape, Kath Hacking, Harry Sidaway, Nick Origlass, Bob Heffernan, Sue Stock, Christine O'Brien

Year: 1996

Running Time: 93 Minutes

Classification: M. Consumer advice: Medium level coarse language.

Curriculum links: Australian Studies; Civics and Citizenship; English; Documentary; Film, Cinema and Screen Studies; Government Studies; Local Government Studies; Politics; SOSE.


Facing the Music

Real Life: Democracy

SKU 199300500
Brand Film Australia

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