HARVEST OF HATE
Australia, 1985, 75 minutes, Colour.
Kris McQuade?, Dennis Grosvenor, Leon Cosak, Michael Aitkens.
Directed by Michael Thornhill.
Harvest of Hate is a telemovie made by the prestigious South Australian Film Corporation. The author and director is former critic Michael Thornhill who made impact with his features Between Wars and The F.J. Holden. He had a commercial and artistic failure with the Jack Thompson vehicle The Journalist. This film seems far-
fetched - Arab terrorists training and operating in South Australia. However, given this premise and the melodramatic style, the film moves with some pace even if implausibility. The point being made is interesting enough and there are comments on Australia's sense of isolation from the international community. The opening Israeli
- Arab clash is well done. The rest of the film does not quite measure up to this. A curiosity item and an illustration of Australian telemovie-making.
1. The impact of the film on a television home audience, the qualities of the film in terms of content and style, the local example of film-making from South Australia?
2. The opening sequences and the harvest - and the significance of the title, the Israelis and the experience of terrorism? The hatred in successive generations? The harvesting of hatred in another hemisphere at another time?
3. The impact of the prologue and the focus on Jerusalem, Israel in 1947, the role of the Israelis, the Arabs? Terrorism and its effect? The small boy seeing his father killed? The irony of his identity afterwards - whom did audiences think the son was in South Australia with the sudden cut to Peter?
4. The transition to South Australia in the '70s - another world, atmosphere? The remoteness from Israel and its problems? The background of wealth, work, vineyards? The hero and heroine as types? Affluence, style? The emphasis on Australian easygoing attitudes? Their characters, hopes, work, ambitions, skill?
5. The background of the vineyard business - the owner, his work for the British, his status, presence in South Australia? His bitter memories, politics, morals? His plans, the setting up of the central characters as bait? The final confrontation and violence? His death?
6. The couple going to the house - the prospect of valuing it, the innocent going into the trap, the discovery of the clues? The being trapped? The Arab types and their behaviour - violent, sympathetic? The couple becoming prisoners, their trying to cope, retort, being pushed around? The clashes between the two of them? The hopes for escape and the attempts? The smooth talking of the Israeli guards?
7. The focus on the training, the equipment? The plausibility of Arabs training in Australia? The screenplay and its comments on Australian remoteness from international strife?
8. David and his reactions, his harshness? The emergence of his true identity? The irony of the prologue in relation to him? His helping them escape, the various dangers, chase, clashes, shooting? How plausible a character, his commitment to the Israeli cause, the infiltrating of the Arabs? His death?
9. The effect of the action sequences - pursuit, military manoeuvres, the final trap?
10. The clashes at the end, the confrontations in the cellars? The bringing of the episode to a satisfactory conclusion? The victory of right over wrong? The pro-Israeli stances?
11. How plausible within the space of a telemovie to develop characters' international issues - especially for the Australian audience? Audience judgment on Middle East crises, on the rights of the Israelis, the Arabs, of terrorist activity? How well did this telemovie bring these issues to the home audience as part of their entertainment programme?