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THE MINISKIRTED DYNAMO

Australia, 1996 (MIFF 1996, Documenta)

Director: Rivka Hartman

In this captivating, perplexing portrait of mother, Dora Bialestock, filmmaker Rivi Hartman explores the wildly contradictory nature of this well known Melbourne figure Several inches less than five feet tall, she was tiny dynamo, an awesome intellectual and original thinker. A world renowned pathologist she also campaigned tirelessly in the 1960s a early 70s for the Victorian Government! recognise the extent of child abuse in the community at a time when most people refus to acknowledge that it even occurred. She also championed the development of good, freely available childcare.

Dora was a totally driven woman, and compassionate mother to all, except her own daughter. Almost from childbirth, Dors relationship with her daughter was stormy. "No matter what she was doing, she'd drop everything to get into an argument with me" Rivka recalls. Hartman has created an intensely personal work which has all the breathless enery characteristic of her mother. In the telling Dora's story Hartman reconciles a painful part of her past whilst illuminating for all of us a murky chapter of not so distant local history! compelling viewing.

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