Cinema And Civilisation: Science, Progress And Empire In Early Film

Grant number: DP0773501 | Funding period: 2007 - 2010



This study will explore the role of early film in disseminating the Western ideals of progress, science and technology in the colonial nations of Australia's region. Early films made about Indonesia, Indochina, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Singapore as well as India and North Africa will be studied. The study will reveal Australia's dual roles as a recipient of the civilising mission and later as a propagator of this knowledge in its own sphere of influence. Such an understanding will lead to a fuller comprehension of the relative meaning of terms such as 'progress', 'science' and 'civilisation' in Australia and its region.