I must admit I was expecting a Discovery Channel how-to. You know the sort of thing-- all nuts and bolts and boring. How refreshing then to see a film that placed The Sydney Harbour Bridge- indeed the entire nation- squarely in its social and historical context. This was not so much a film about a structure as it was about a young nation's striving to find its way in the world.
Skillfully blending marvellous archives with recreations and an entirely original way of re-imagining old photographs, the film was documentary craftwork at its best. Yet it went a step further, offering snippets of real drama, brilliantly displayed by actors. Danny Adcock as the driven engineer Bradfield and especially Bill Young as the scheming Premier Jack Lang carried their roles convincingly- and with obvious relish.
While it packed a lot into if one hour- at times perhaps too much - this film marked a coming of age for Australian history on TV. It was neither derivative nor compromised by playing to foreign audiences. An Australian story tremendously told for Australian audiences. That it was watched by one of the biggest TV audiences of the year is a testament to our desire for such productions. Congratulations to all involved
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