Movie Details

In the late 1940's, as Australian politics became increasingly polarized in the wake of the growing Cold War, a group of leftist film enthusiasts who were increasingly troubled by the hesitance of most exhibitors to screen Russian or European films with radical themes founded a film society called the Realist Film Unit. While the Realists initially showed films made by others, the group soon began producing documentaries on political and social issues they believed were being ignored by the mainstream media, including economic injustice and unfair housing practices. While members of the Realist Film Unit found themselves hounded by police and were subjected to surveillance by Australian Security and Investigation Organization, the group continued to make films and document political actions through the 1950's. Australian filmmakers John Hughes and Uri Mizrahi were given a cache of the Realist Film Unit's archival materials by the daughter of founder Bob Matthews, and the documentary The Archive Project looks back at the men and women who comprised the RFU, the issues they explored, the opposition they faced from the Australian authorities, and the historic footage they left behind. The Archive Project received its world premiere at the 2006 Sydney Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi