National Nightmare: Mob mentality and colonial failure in Wake in Fright

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    In the years following its restoration and re-release in 2009, Wake in Fright (Ted Kotcheff, 1971) has become firmly ensconced as a classic work of Australian cinema. Faithfully adapted from Kenneth Cook's 1961 novel, Wake in Fright opened to positive reviews both in Australia and internationally, but local audiences were discomfited by its ugly depiction of Australian culture. The film fell into obscurity after its initial release, and became unavailable for several decades, while its legacy grew in stature. After being rescued and restored through the timely intervention of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, 'Wake in Fright' is now once again widely available, and undiminished in its power to shock and appal with its confronting vision of Australian masculinity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)116-121
    Number of pages6
    JournalScreen Education
    Issue number85
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


    • Motion pictures -- Australia
    • National identity
    • Australian masculinity
    • Wake in fright


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