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Sheep and the Australian Cinema
The book focuses on two key ‘sheep films’: The Squatter’s Daughter (Hall, 1933) and Bitter Springs (Smart, 1950). Both movies are concerned with the national project, in which sheep growing and nation building are seamlessly aligned. But Verhoeven artfully demonstrates that it is precisely in their emphasis on textual re-iteration and repetition that the sheep films critique an otherwise ostensibly 'national' vision.
In the process Verhoeven sheds new light on the importance and implication of discourses of originality in the Australian cinema.