A collection of first hand accounts dealing with the struggles and deprivations experienced by the Australian working class during the Great Depression. Poignant interviews are interwoven with heartbreaking historical stills and archive depicting the human toll of the Depression, including poverty, food insecurity and hunger, unemployment, suicide, dole queues and working for the dole, hunting rabbits, as well as rolling a swag and heading bush. This is followed with fascinating accounts regarding the resultant rise of socialism and communism among the working class, the Soviet dream of a better society, street disturbances between socialists and the police, as well as the rise of the anti-communist New Guard.
The trauma and injustice of eviction is covered, followed by eviction riots in Sydney and the tragic existence of the Happy Valley humpy town of homeless people. Brought to a head by the Rothbury lockout shooting, tensions between the working class, socialist protestors and the police become common. The film finishes with legendary Australian miner and unionist, Fred Moore, playing a working class tune on his harmonica.
Author: J Bird, 2023