Join us on Thursday 17 November for film and dinner in support of Bega State Campaign. Stay on after the film for dinner and discussion. Ticket price of $25 includes a light meal of curries and rice. Please advise via email of any dietary requirements.
"The Great Strike 1917" is a story involving murder, censorship and political manipulation which lay dormant in archival vaults for almost a century and to this day, it remains Australia's largest industrial upheaval.
It was Sydney, 1917 and a most critical period during the First World War, but there was turmoil on the home front. The Government had provoked industrial action by trying to introduce further so-called efficiencies to an already over-stretched workforce. Thousands joined protest marches through the streets; the government recruited volunteers and even schoolboys to break the strike, issuing some of them with guns; unions were de-registered and their leaders charged with conspiracy. It was to make and break political careers, including that of a future Prime Minister, and had lasting consequences for the Australian labour movement.
It was a time of explosive emotions, heavy-handed state repression and individual acts of violence by and against strikers, including murder. At its height the strike stopped coastal shipping, mining, stevedoring and transport on the eastern coast of Australia, and involved tens of thousands of workers in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
The film, directed by Amanda King, is interwoven with historic photographs and a series of oral history interviews recorded in the late 1980’s, as well as rare black and white silent clips uncovered by City of Sydney historians and National Film and Sound Archive staff, all of which serve to remind audiences today that the confluence of new technologies, power and politics is as potentially volatile as it was all those years ago.
We look forward to seeing you there.