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Three short stories - Lawson, Hardy
and Peterson: A portmanteau film using
the device of “mateship” to look at
three periods in the development of
Australian society.

The first section, “Joe Wilson's Mates' ', is adapted from Henry Lawson's
story ‘ ‘The Union Buries its Dead' ‘ . Set
in the 1890's, it is a warmly human comedy of a collection of drunks at the funeral of one of their mates.

The second part, “The Load of
Wood”, has affinities with Italian neorealism in style. In an Australian town during the depression years in the Thirties, the men on the dole badly need firewood to warm their homes - Two of them set out one night in a borrowed truck to collect a load from the paddocks of a local grazier.

The third story, “The City”, has
been written by Ralph Peterson and follows the troubles of a young married couple in contemporary Sydney , whose marriage is being destroyed by the housing shortage and law problems.