The Devil's Playground

Australia, 1976

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The subject of a Catholic adolescence in a preparatory school for seminarians set in provincial Victoria, 1953, is substantially autobiographical which explains the engaging intimacy that Schepisi achieves in his first film. An unusual feature, given its subject, is the avoidance of a single point of view. It is not just the youths that are trapped by the Irish Catholic rigidities of the institution but the staff as well. The film does not question belief so much as the institutional distortions that are engendered by the imperatives of belief. Cast includes Arthur Dignam, Nick Tate, Simon Burke and Thomas Keneally.

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Fred Schepisi

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Feature Film House Productions



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