John-Pilger-didjeridu-bg-2-lo-resTHN would love to share that one of the most extraordinary films about Australia that’s soon to be released in the UK. UTOPIA is described as an epic production by the Emmy and Bafta winning film-maker and journalist John Pilger, and THN will be catching it at the London Film Festival next month.

Utopia is a vast region in northern Australia and home to the oldest human presence on earth, Pilger had this to say:

‘This film is a journey into that secret country. It will describe not only the uniqueness of the first Australians, but their trail of tears and betrayal and resistance – from one utopia to another’.

Pilger begins his journey in Sydney, where he grew up, and in Canberra, the nation’s capital, where the national parliament rises in an affluent suburb called Barton, recently awarded the title of Australia’s most advantaged community.

Barton is named after Edmund Barton, the first prime minister of Australia, who in 1901 introduced the White Australia Policy:

‘The doctrine of the equality of man,’ said Barton, ‘was never intended to apply to those who weren’t British and white-skinned.’

He made no mention of the original inhabitants who were deemed barely human, unworthy of recognition in the first suburban utopia.  One of the world’s best kept secrets is revealed against a background of the greatest boom in mineral wealth. Has the ‘lucky country’ inherited South African apartheid? And how could this happen in the 21st century? What role has the media played?

UTOPIA is both a personal journey and universal story of power and resistance and how modern societies can be divided between those who conform and a dystopian world of those who do not conform. The film has a cinema release set for 15th November 2013 and  ITV will broadcast the film on 17th December.

UTOPIA will also have its premiere at the National Film Theatre (BFI South Bank) on 3rd October, for BFI tickets click here and more for information, follow the links below and click here for how he influenced Jim Loach, director of ORANGES AND SUNSHINE.