News of the devastating fires in Australia has been in our feeds for many weeks and while we can feel powerless to help, it is important to appreciate and learn about this fascinating country. Listed below are some thrilling titles from the Music and Media Collections.
Off the coast of Queensland is the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living structure on Earth stretching over 1,200 miles long. This feature length BBC program reveals its creation, its inner workings, and its complex relationship with its inhabitants and our changing world. QE 566 .G7 G7 2013 DVD
Discovery Channel’s Australia Revealed uses high-definition panoramic photography to capture the majesty of the continent. Told through stories of inhabitants, this extensive documentary shows the multitude of experiences people have with the untamed landscape. Russell Crowe narrates. DU 117 .A97 2007 DVD
For an epic yet close-up look of the Land Down Under, watch Australia’s First 4-Billion Years from Nova. Geologist Richard Smith leads the viewer on a journey of discovery, showing what prehistoric kangaroos, and crustaceans looked like and how asteroids shaped the land. Four hours of viewing! QE 340 .A97 2013 DVD
Oranges and Sunshine tells the story of real-life English social worker Margaret Humphreys who uncovered a scheme that forcibly relocated poor children from the UK to Australia and other Commonwealth countries, exposing them to hard labor and abuse. She reunited estranged families and brought worldwide attention to her cause. Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving, and David Wenham star in this powerful 2012 drama. PN 1997 .O728 2012 DVD
Rabbit Proof Fence (2002) brings to life author Doris Pilkington’s book, telling her mother’s story when she was one of thousands of mixed-race Aboriginal children taken from their families and sent to camps in a deplorable effort to erase native peoples from Australia. Ranging in ages from 8 to 14, Pilkington’s mother Molly, her sister, and cousin made a nearly 1,000 mile-journey home on foot. Kenneth Branagh portrays A. O. Neville, the driving force behind the eradication of Aboriginal peoples in the 1930s. Music by Peter Gabriel. PR 9619.3 .P535 R3 2003 DVD
In The Dressmaker (2015), a woman accused of murder as a child (Kate Winslet) returns to her hometown seeking closure, ultimately exacting revenge on the townspeople. Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, and Hugo Weaving costar in this remarkable adaptation of Rosalie Ham’s 2000 novel. PN 1997 .D753 2016 DVD
See WWI from a different perspective in 1915, a 6-hour mini-series from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The drama follows two best friends as they face the horrors of war. PR9619.3.M2514 N5 2006 DVD
The Shiralee (1987) is a heartwarming tale of Mac, an itinerant rural worker who, due to marital strife, hits the road with his daughter Buster in tow. Life-or-death circumstances force Mac to make the most difficult decision he can imagine. This two-part drama brings D’Arcy Niland’s 1955 novel to life. PR 9619.3 .N534 S5 2008 vol. 1 and 2 DVD
Check out these quintessentially Australian dramas! In A Place to Call Home, nurse Sarah Adams returns home after spending two decades in Europe, forming a connection to the wealthy yet troubled Bligh family. Watch the complete series full of secrets, romance, and intrigue! PN 1997 .P538 2014 sea. 1 disc 1-2 DVD Also, in the collections are all five seasons of The Dr. Blake Mysteries. Haunted by WWII, Dr. Lucian Blake, together with housekeeper Jean Beazley and his enthusiastic colleagues, solves Ballarat’s most tangled crimes. PN 1997 .D633 2015 sea. 1 disc 1-2 DVD
Stop by the Music and Media Collections to pick up any of these titles and more! We’re located in on the first floor of the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library to the right of the Main Circulation desk.
By Sarah Pavey