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Australia, 1992 (MIFF 1993, Documentaries)

Director: Tom Zubrycki

Sydney documentanst and MFF regular, Tom Zubrycki (Bran Nue Dae, Friends and Enemies) continues on his unpredictable way with this intriguing, dramatic documentary portrait of an emigre family, shot in Melbourne and El Salvador over a 12 month period.

Maria and Carlos Robles were political refugees from El Salvador who escaped to Australia when conditions in their homeland became intolerable and now are faced with the dilemma of remaining here or going home. Despite a shared ideology and a common commitment to the family, they are divided on the crucial issue of where they belong.

Torn by their conflicting loyalties to working with the emigre El Salvadorian community here in Melbourne, or returning to their homeland, Carlos and Maria's marital dramas are played out in full view of Zubrycki's camera. Like the filmmaker, we the audience become intimate observers of their domestic tensions and the emotional dynamics of the divided couple's relationship There's even the suggestion that the camera's presence has contributed to the domestic discord. Zubrycki has included a very personal narration that identifies his involvement and this makes for fascinating viewing. Homelands may well be the multi-cultural Sylvania Waters.

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