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The Screen Guide

Phosphate rich Christmas Island rears out of the Indian Ocean only ten degrees south of the Equator. It was first mined by the British and then by the Australians. The British Phosphate Commission (BPC) ran the Island like a Raj outpost, exploiting cheap Asian labour and practising a form of apartheid. Gordon Bennett, a hard drinking Englishman, came to the remote Australian territory in 1979 to become General Secretary of the Union of Christmas Island Workers. Appalled at what he found, Bennett was determined to dismantle the archaic and racist institutions on the island. The film traces attempts to crush the tiny union and shut down the mine.

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Mathew Kelley
Peter Du Cane  Mathew Kelley
Peter Du Cane  Samantha Kelley
Executive Producers
Franco di Chiera  Chris Oliver
Dir. of Photography
Ian Pugsley


John Stanton (narrator)

Production Details

Production Completion
History and national identity, Social contemporary
Production Company
Film Australia Limited  Wildfilm Australia Pty Ltd

Selected Awards & Festivals

  • Singapore International Film Festival
  • Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short & Animation Films
  • Noosa Film Festival
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Columbus International Film & Video Festival