We of the Never Never

We of the Never Never

Director: Igor Auzins

Cast: Angela Punch McGregor, Arthur Dignam, Tony Barry

     
 

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Even today, the Australian outback (the never-never of the title) is a daunting place to be left alone. In 1901, it was even more rugged and wild. In this artful drama, Jeannie Gunn (Angela Punch McGregor), a very genteel and citified Victorian-era newlywed, joins her husband in the Northern Territory to help manage a station ("station" is Aussie for "a large ranch").…  See more details below

Overview

Even today, the Australian outback (the never-never of the title) is a daunting place to be left alone. In 1901, it was even more rugged and wild. In this artful drama, Jeannie Gunn (Angela Punch McGregor), a very genteel and citified Victorian-era newlywed, joins her husband in the Northern Territory to help manage a station ("station" is Aussie for "a large ranch"). There she gradually sheds her prim ways and, thanks to her friendship with the local Aborigines, becomes a representative of an entirely new class, sometimes called "Australian outback women." In addition to chronicling the transformation of a Victorian woman, this film offers insight into the situation of Aborigine society at the time, and it received high praise from Australian reviewers. It is based on the diaries of Jeannie Gunn herself.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
The life of the frontier wife, familiar to fans of Western literature and films, has this counterpart Down Under, with the same components: physical hardships, mistrust by men, and relationships with the native residents. Jeannie Gunn (Angela Punch McGregor) was a proper Victorian lady who, in 1901, agrees to accompany her new husband, Aeneas, from Melbourne to his assignment as administrator of a station in the bush. This is no travelogue of the exotic flora and fauna of Australia, nor a catalogue of Jeannie's adjustments to primitive living conditions. (She is able to have many of her furnishings shipped to her new home.) We of the Never Never is a tale about relationships: between Jeannie and her husband, between Jeannie and the men who work for Aeneas, and between Jeannie and the Aborigines. The men are wary of Jeannie, and in one memorable sequence, a traveler who has fallen ill agrees to be brought to the station for medical help only if Jeannie will not nurse him. Aeneas and his men keep a distance from the Aborigines, while Jeannie embraces them. "I don't want to teach them anything," she says, "I want to learn from them." When she takes in a young girl with a troubled home life, it's not to civilize her, but to provide her with some measure of stability and comfort. The film is best at exploring the complex interplay between the races; the Aborigines camp nearby and sometimes help out with domestic chores and accept sugar and tobacco from the white men, but they keep a certain distance. The film's first half is randomly episodic, but in the second hour, Jeannie has to deal with three similar crises that test her and elaborate on the film's gender and racial issues. To its credit, We of the Never Never deals with these issues deftly, in part because of McGregor's luminous performance as the gently assertive heroine.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/27/2006
UPC:
0844628010443
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
G
Source:
Tango Entertainment
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:14:00

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- We of the Never Never
1. Front Credits [3:29]
2. Married [8:19]
3. The Ferguson [9:40]
4. The New Boss [9:55]
5. Your Staff [9:03]
6. Round Up [9:41]
7. The Bull [11:20]
8. New Dining Room [11:16]
9. Alone [13:16]
10. Washing [10:43]
11. Tribal Dance [13:22]
12. Christmas [5:22]
13. The Fever [8:56]
14. End Credits [3:45]

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