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The Screen Guide

Merle Oberon was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s. Studio publicists said she was born into a wealthy family in Hobart, Tasmania - Australia's island state. Yet rumour was that the exotic almond-eyed actress concealed her true past. It was said she was actually "oriental", perhaps Anglo-Indian, and born in Calcutta. In Tasmania, many remain convinced she was their island's most famous daughter, born not to wealthy parents but to a Chinese hotel worker and her married employer. THE TROUBLE WITH MERLE looks at celebrity, memory, identity, race and class... and at why Merle Oberon's origins mattered to people on a tiny island, in a country at the bottom of the world.

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Marée Delofski
Marée Delofski
David Noakes
Executive Producers
Mark Hamlyn
Dir. of Photography
Himman Dhamija


Maree Delofski (narrator)

Production Details

Production Completion
Art and culture
Production Company
Film Australia Limited  SeeView Pictures Pty Ltd

Selected Awards & Festivals

  • Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short & Animation Films
  • New Zealand Film Festival
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Christchurch International Film Festival