Non-Fiction ACMI, AIDC, NFSA and The Guardian present

Rocking the Foundations + Where the River Runs Red

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“An exhilarating and complete account of the Green Bans - one of the most important developments in union history. An uplifting film for the sheer energy of the people involved.”

John Hinde, ABC

Digitally restored by the National Film & Sound Archive, Pat Fiske’s vital documentary charts the rise of post-war social change and its relationship to the New South Wales Builders Labourers Federation (BLF), who challenged the notion of what a worker’s union could and should be.

Beginning life as a movement to secure wages and conditions for some of the building industries most underrepresented workers, by the 1970’s the BLF morphed into a central organisation for several wider social and political issues of the day.  

In the post-war era, Sydney’s population and economic wealth swelled, leading to increased pressure from developers and government to radically rethink the urban landscape. Key residential areas such as the Rocks, historic parklands and buildings were all threatened.

Alongside this, the social fabric of the country was also being reshaped with protest movements emerging around Indigenous Land Rights, opposition to the Vietnam war and the rise of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Within this milieu, the BLF spearheaded the historic Green Bans movement which worked to preserve much of the historic, environmental and socially diverse areas of Sydney.

At a time when many aspects of modern cities are again under threat from economic interests, Rocking the Foundations serves as a timely reminder about the need for community action and cooperation to secure urban environments that are sustainable for all.

Rocking the Foundations will be preceded by the world premiere screening of Brodie Poole's short documentary Where the River Runs Red.

Presented with the National Film and Sound Archive’s digital restoration program – NFSA Restores – reviving our cinema icons.

This session is Unclassified 15+ (Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian)