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The Screen Guide

Sophia Whist is a character on a journey of enquiry. She discovers a magic book in the public library - an old leather bound volume called Snakes and Ladders. In its pages she meets ten women between the ages of 19 and 94, who talk about their education. Their stories are about wanting an education, wanting more from their education, fighting to extend their options, and demanding to be taught material that incorporates the experience of women. SNAKES AND LADDERS is a story of two steps forward, one step back - of achievement in one generation often hidden from the next. Drawing on interviews and a striking selection of archival footage, it reveals the expectations and achievements of women who have struggled to gain a tertiary education - and the reality of discrimination. The film employs the unusual device of a whimsical investigator, Sophia Whist, who pieces together the elements of the film's story - much as the filmmakers themselves did in researching the 'hidden history' of women's education.

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Robin Laurie - Edna Ryan - Anne Summers - Marie de Lepervanche - Jean Curthoys - Marjorie Thomas - Linda Burney - Bessie Mitchell

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Spinifex Films