It is a rare event for sure that a new release movie makes its way to Antarctica for a premiere before most of the rest of the world gets to see it. Having this once in a lifetime opportunity had the Mawson crew out in strength to stride down the red carpet dressed to the nines for the Antarctic premiere of “Mary Meets Mohammad”. Strangely this feature length doco about how a member of a small Tasmanian knitting group (Mary) changes her thinking about refugees who have been placed in a detention centre in her town has an obscure connection to Antarctica. More on that later.
With almost the entire Mawson population squeezed into our small theatre the show was watched in relative silence as the story unfolded. The silence ended with the film. Inspired by the questions and opinions raised on refugees, asylum seekers and detention faced by all Australians discussions continued well into the evening. The film is just that, thought provoking and a catalyst for further discussion. It personalises and provides another facet to an issue that has filled the pages of our newspapers and driven political opinion for some time.
So, what is the connection to Antarctica? Well, the producer, writer and cinematograher, Heather Kirkpatrick spent a few seasons in Antarctica as a Field Training Officer where she pushed expedtioners to their limits trudging with heavy packs and heaving lungs through the Vestfold hills and other places to ensure they could remain safe in the field.
Thanks for allowing us to premiere the film Heather. Enjoyed by all and certainly food for thought and discussion. Not so thankful for the death marches in the Vestfolds.