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The ham fisted direction and the corny acting detract from what could have been an above average miniseries. The Australian setting and the story of how the New Australians had to overcome prejudice are the only things that save this work. It is not generally known outside Australia that despite all they had suffered in WWII, the refugees and displaced persons who were resettled in Australia had to work where they were sent, usually construction projects such as the massive Snowy Mountains project. It was extremely difficult for many to work in their chosen professions, and to have their qualifications recognized, especially if they had graduated from Universities in countries behind the iron curtain, or in cases where all records had been destroyed in bombing raids. Many of them had to start their education over again. That so many of them made a better life for themselves is to their credit, and the film certainly got that part right.
My main fault with is with the casting of Sigrid Thornton, as always, as the leading lady. One would get the impression that she was the only actress in Australia. Unfortunately Jennifer Morton was English, and Ms. Thornton is not. Michael York does his Mittle European accent once again (are there no European actors available?) The direction could have been tightened up a little to eliminate some of the long pauses and endless close ups of Sigrid Thornton, and it would have been much better to have stayed with the book rather than inserting unnecessary sub plots.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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