Director Graham Chase / 1992 / Australia

Documentarist Graham Chase returns to Port Pirie in South Australia to rekindle a few memories, but the town of his childhood is no more. Like so much of Chase's previous work (Democracy, Bylines, Cooee), Modern Times is couched in a light-hearted, laconic style, evoking the day-to-day lot of 'ordinary Aus­tralians'. However, behind the brave face of the Port Pirie community lies the desperate plight of rural Australia, hovering between a (sup­posedly) glorious past and an increasingly uncertain future.

" This is the story of a desperate town facing extinction. A town which for most of this century has contributed to the industrial might of the world and Australia. A town which can­not be anything else. A town that will vanish unless the company and its citizens take extreme measures to survive. It is the town where I was born. And the town where both my father and grandfather died of lead poison­ing. This will be a film that reveals the agony of present day economic realities through per­sonal stories of those most affected and trying to find a solution to a seemingly insurmount­able problem. A film offering a metaphor for the dilemma facing all western industrial nations through the struggles of a cross-section at their home fronts." • Graham Chose

see also; Changing Our Minds

see also: Eight Ball

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