Director: John Hughes
Year: 1981
Duration: 43 mins

At the height of the Cold War, between 1953 and 1958, the Waterside Workers Federation Film Unit made eleven documentary films. Supported by the Waterside Workers Federation and other trade unions, the WWF Film Unit sought to provide images affirming the experience of workers, in opposition to the dominant media. Films like The Hungry Miles, Pensions for Veterans and Hewers of Coal are classics of Australian committed documentary. Film-Work analyses the films in collaboration with the Unit’s filmmakers Norma Disher, Keith Gow and Jock Levy.

Between 1953 and 1958 eleven documentary films were made by the Waterside Workers Federation Film Unit. Film-Work dissects scenes from four of these films and examines their cultural and historical importance and the relationship between politics and history.

Production Credit

Writer, Director John Hughes. Produced by John Hughes. Cinematographer Margot Nash. Editor and Sound John Whitteron.


  • Winner, ATOM Awards, 1982.
  • Finalist, Greater Union Awards, 1982.

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