The current longest non-stop flight in the world is the Qantas route from Sydney to Dallas: 14.5 hours in the air in an Airbus A-380. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting on that Airbus flipping through the inflight entertainment system in that semi-catatonic state that all long-haul flights seem to induce, when I stumbled across an intriguingly-titled television series: The Secret River. It turned out to be a two-part mini-series originally broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation based on a novel by author Kate Grenville. The blurb promised an exploration of an emancipated convict in the early days of the colony of New South Wales, carving out a new life on the Hawkesbury River (the Secret River of the title).
I thought to myself, this seem promising, and settled back expecting a mildly diverting period piece about early Australian history that I had never seen dramatized. I imagined it might be a little dry and slow, but would have great images of the bushland that I was familiar with growing up (the Hawkesbury is just a 20-30 minute drive away from where I grew up), I was interested to see how the producers recreated the early Australian colony, and at the very least it would while away about 3 of the remaining hours until touchdown in Dallas. Instead I found myself watching a graphic and unsentimental depiction of the often brutal confrontation between the early European settlers and the indigenous people, the Australian Aborigines.Read More »