Concrete City

Australian Workers Film Guide


In the spirit of classic films such as Waterloo (1981) and Rocking the Foundations (1985), Concrete City charts yet another urban development clash between commercial interests and local residents on Sydney Harbour, this time in Pyrmont, a suburb with deep working class roots. 

Faced with the wholesale demolition of their heritage and community, resident activists face off against the government backed City West Development Corporation, which plans a large scale casino, a heliport, apartment towers and a marina.

Opening with an interesting time-lapse sequence of inner city traffic, demolition and construction, the film shows local residents unfurling a new flag, declaring the Republic of Pyrmont and handing out passports to motorists entering the suburb.

The film charts the consultation process, with both sides presenting their views, while also profiling the daily lives and community connections of local residents. This includes a waterside worker following in the footsteps of his father who worked on the docks in the 1950s, which is accompanied by flashbacks to the hard conditions on the docks, a local restaurateur running an Indian restaurant, as well as a long term resident wanting her children to grow up in the same neighbourhood.

The film reveals a divided world of the haves and the have-nots, where working class people are pushed out to make way for the wealthy, a sentiment highlighted by the visit of a Pyrmont resident to the wealthy enclave of Kirribilli, where she notes the nice surrounds in which the residents live.

The film also observes the cultural mapping of Pyrmont, in which residents identify aspects of the suburb important to them, leading to a battle to save 19th century workers’ cottages and other heritage buildings.

Special Notes/Achievements

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 56 mins

Film Release Year:

Film Shooting Format:

Film Aspect Ratio:

Film Distribution Format:

Film Colour:

Film Director: Mandy King, Fabio Cavadini,

Film Producer: Mandy King, Fabio Cavadini,

Film Writer: Fabio Cavadini, Mandy King,

Film Key Cast:

Film Executive Producer:

Film Cinematographer:

Film Editor:

Film Sound Recordist:

Film Composer:

Film Production Company: