Dr. Jennifer Rutherford
Film Australia Executive Producer
A FILM AUSTRALIA NATIONAL INTEREST PROGRAM PRODUCED WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF
THE AUSTRALIAN FILM COMMISSION, THE NEW SOUTH WALES FILM AND TELEVISION OFFICE AND THE AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION.
© Film Australia
Far right and anti-immigration politics are on the rise worldwide. In Australia, as in many other western countries, a new political force is drawing on the discontent of those who feel excluded from the promised benefits of globalisation. Rejecting the new world order and its transformation of their economies and cultures, these people are convinced that traditional political parties no longer represent them or their interests. They are desperate to make their voice heard.
For Colene Hughes and her supporters, Pauline HansonŐs One Nation Party initially appears to offer a solution. It seems to promise true democracy, a way of knocking the country back into shape - giving people like them some power again. However, over time, their belief in the moral rightness of One Nation is confronted by the realities of the partyŐs internal politics. Once Colene starts to question the authoritarian control of the partyŐs executive members, the gloves come off. At the annual general meeting, the two forces collide.
This revealing documentary follows Colene through two years and two election campaigns as a One Nation candidate in Ipswich, Queensland, heartland of One Nation. It travels with her on the campaign trail as her idealistic fervour slowly turns to disillusionment. It also gives the viewer an unparalleled look at One Nation - from the inside. As the film takes us into homes, member gatherings, party rallies, branch meetings and social events, we meet the "ordinary people" who have flocked to Pauline HansonŐs call to save the nation and we hear, in their own words, their grievances and aspirations.
How the film came to be made...
People who have never made a film before donŐt know what they are getting themselves into. If they did, theyŐd probably never begin. Fortunately for Ordinary People, Sydney academic Dr. Jennifer Rutherford didnŐt give it a second thought. It seemed clear to her, as she was researching the grassroots of Pauline HansonŐs One Nation for her new book, that someone ought to be documenting what she saw.
So, in June and October 1998, Rutherford and her friends, using non-professional camera gear, filmed in the homes, meetings and events of One NationŐs heartland, Ipswich Queensland. They filmed people and places which were closed to the hostile professional media. As Rutherford told the One Nation people, she merely wanted to listen rather than rush to judgment, to let the members speak for themselves. She wanted to find out why this movement had erupted, so suddenly and unexpectedly in Australia, and what it shared with other such movements which were appearing in Europe and the United States. She shot reel after reel of video material, both of One Nation supporters and of the local Ipswich groups who were opposing them.
Later, back in Sydney with her mass of videotapes, Rutherford discovered just how difficult it could be to obtain documentary finance. Then she met filmmaker Kit Guyatt, himself an ex-Queenslander. Rutherford showed Guyatt the best of her material and together they made a showreel. It soon became clear that some of the One Nation members Rutherford had filmed were extraordinary characters in their own right. They decided to film more material of these people and, in early 1999, followed Colene Hughes to the One Nation Annual General meeting in Sydney, capturing her disagreements with the leadership of One Nation and her growing disenchantment with the movement.
With Guyatt doing the filming, it was clear that this project could now be a fascinating film. Using the new material, they found a producer in GuyattŐs long-time colleague - and experienced documentary filmmaker - Martha Ansara. Ansara, disturbed by the simplistic nature of the debate on One Nation, welcomed RutherfordŐs promise of a more thoughtful approach. And together the three set out to raise money to complete the film.
In making this sort of open-ended documentary, the filmed material inevitably takes on a life of its own. The team decided that Ordinary People would revolve around Colene Hughes and her journey through One Nation. At the end of 1999 they obtained support for the project from the Australian Film Commission. However, with the necessity of the filmmakers maintaining other jobs, progress was slow. Rutherford kept in touch with the One Nation people and organised several follow-up filming trips to Ipswich over the following year. Scott Balson, ex-One Nation webmaster, and a skilled photographer, provided stills for the informational montages which now punctuate the film.
By early 2001, Ordinary People had close to a final structure but the project still had a number of production steps to go. The team decided to approach Film Australia to see if the program could be completed under its National Interest Program. Stefan Moore, an executive producer at Film Australia, realised that while Ordinary People had been developed through a very unusual production path it offered a chronicle of grassroots politics and of people who rarely figure in Australian social documentary. Film Australia agreed to buy out the investment of the AFC, garner the support of the NSWFTO and take executive responsibility for taking the film through to completion.
At the end of June, experienced producer/editor Denise Haslem joined the team in a supervisory position and the filmmakers moved over to Film Australia's production offices. Within a few months Ordinary People was ready for broadcast on the ABC.
It has been a
long journey, and while Dr. Jennifer Rutherford may some day make another film,
for now, she is focussing her energies on completing the book on One Nation
that she began researching in 1998.
Dr. Jennifer Rutherford holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Anthropology from the University of New South Wales and has published extensively on racism, nationalism and Australian culture. She was foundation convenor of the Australian Studies Program at the Australian National University from 1994 to 1998, a Research Fellow in the School of Cultural Studies and Critical Theory at Macquarie University from 1998 to 2001 and is currently Research Fellow at the University of SydneyŐs Department of English, Art History, Media and Film. Dr. Rutherford undertook graduate studies at the Ecole Des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris where she completed a D.E.A in the Sciences of Language and has studied and trained in psychoanalysis at LŐHopital de Ste Ann, Paris, and with the Ecole de la Cause Freudienne. Dr Rutherford is the author of The Gauche Intruder: Freud, Lacan and the Australian Good (Melbourne University Press) and is currently writing a book on the One Nation movement.
Kit was born in Queensland and moved to Sydney as a young production assistant with Film Australia. His first film, Great Barrier Reef, won the documentary prize at the 1968 Chicago International Film Festival and launched his career as a director and editor. Leaving Film Australia in the 1970s, he worked freelance for such organisations as the BBC, ABC, Australian Religious Film Society, National Catholic Radio and Television Centre, and the Arts Council of Australia. As well as producing and directing his own films, Kit has worked with such directors as Phil Noyce, Tom Cowan, Gillian Armstrong and Richard Mason, editing shorts, documentaries and feature films.
After a move to the country, Kit ran a small farm while continuing production work on a selective basis. He now operates a fully equipped non-linear editing facility from his property south of Moss Vale.
Kit returned to media work in the 1990s, and now edits, directs and produces corporate films and documentaries. He recently edited I Cover the Waterfront (Dir Sylvie le Clezio) for SBS Independent. He has worked as associate producer and editor with Martha Ansara on such films as My Survival as an Aboriginal (documentary, 1978), The Pursuit of Happiness (feature, 1987) and My Life as I Live It (documentary, 1994). These films have been successfully sold to television in Australia and overseas.
Denise Haslem - Consultant Producer
Denise Haslem is a producer and editor with over 20 years' experience in the film and television industry. Her editing credits include many award-winning programs such as Custody, My Life Without Steve, Canto a la Vida, The Night Belongs to the Novelist, Six Pack, Admission Impossible, Australia Daze, For All The World To See, The Opposite Sex, Aeroplane Dance, Mystique of the Pearl, Hatred, Our Park and Tosca - a Tale of Love and Torture.
She produced and edited the award-winning Mabo - Life of an Island Man and has also produced DOC - A Portrait of Herbert Vere Evatt, A Calcutta Christmas and co-produced Risky Business and Steel City.
In 1998-99 she was the President of Australian Screen Editors (ASE), the guild devoted to protecting, promoting and improving the role of the editor.
Writer, Co-Producer, Director
Narration Script Editor
DAVID RANKINŐS PARADISE CITY JAZZ BAND
FILM AUSTRALIA PRODUCTION UNIT
Business Affairs Manager
Executive ProducerŐs Assistants
The producers wish to give
Special thanks to the participants
Don Aitken, Stephen Burke,
Ronald Davy, David Ettridge, Ron Frood,
Pauline Hanson, Heather Hill
Angelique Hughes, Christine Jackman,
Daryll Kelly, Valerie and Angus McGregor
Lisa Millar, Marie Patane, Anton and Kathryn Mycyk
Gailene Miller, David Oldfield, Jack Paff, Peter Prenzler,
Kaylene Quarmby, Athena Seiler, Jarrod Stewart,
Edward Titmarsh, Brian and Lee Tombs,
Darren, Viv and Brad Zanow,
Brian Barber, Brendan Bogle, Alan Doak,
Bob Dutton, Barbara Hazelton, John Phillips,
Adele Rule, Mark Strong, V.F. Trask
Special thanks to
Patsy Asch, Penny Biggins, Tom Burvill
Aree Cohen, Anne Coleman, Jan Courtney
Sharon Etter, Thalia Forsyth, Courtney Gibson
Joy Guyatt, Annette Hamilton, John Hughes
Margot Kingston. Joan Kirkby, Coralie Kronenburg
Judy Lattas, Gillian Leahy, Peter Manning
Tom Molomby, Chris Nash, Klaus Neumann
Tan Nguyen, Tony Nolan, Timothy OŐLeary,
Phoebe and Benedicte OŐLeary-Rutherford
Joanne Parker, Siva Raj, Carol Ralph
David Rankin, Malcolm Rouse,
Wendy and Noel Rutherford
David Tiley, Olaf Urban
University of Technology, Sydney
Australian National University
ABC RADIO ARCHIVES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION FOOTAGE SALES
STATE LIBRARY OF NSW
QUEENSLAND NEWSPAPERS PTY LTD
JOHN FAIRFAX HOLDING LIMITED
"LAWS – Pauline Hanson Interview"
courtesy of FOXTEL
@notdŐs One Nation Archive
Roger Lovell, Torsten Blackwood
Sharyn Rosewarne, Greg White
Written and Performed by John Klasen & Trevor Johnson
Produced with the assistance of the
Australian Film Commission
Produced with the assistance of the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
ABC Executive Producer Dasha Ross
Produced with the assistance of the
New South Wales Film and Television Office
A NATIONAL INTEREST PROGRAM
Film Australia Ltd