Chela and Chiquita are a lesbian couple who have lived for decades in Chela’s crumbling family home. When Chiquita is sent to jail for fraud, Chela continues living in the home, selling off furniture and paintings, and gradually carving out her own life without the enveloping presence of Chiquita, who is far more gregarious and assertive. Set in Paraguay and spoken in Spanish with English subtitles, it’s a good exploration of power within a relationship, and the slow flowering of independence and identity in middle age.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Who Runs This Place (ABC) I’m enjoying this series. This time, Richard Aedy looks at The Lobbyists, those groups who use contacts in government and the lobbying miasma that surround it, in order to get what they want. Of all of the flaws of our democracy, it’s the power of lobby groups that disconcerts me the most.
The History Listen (ABC) Two programs this week. The first, The War We Forgot was really good. It examines the loss of Australian civilian life in Rabaul in 1942. I knew that New Guinea was an Australian protectorate after WWI, but I hadn’t realized how ‘Australian’ in was, in a very colonial sense. For example, did you know that people living in Rabaul were listed in the Queensland telephone directory? The mental image of an eleven year old boy holding the hands of his parents as he was shot as a spy by the Japanese stays with me. Well worth listening to.
But I was less enamoured of The surprising story of Wong Shee Ping. He lived in Australia after the gold rush and wrote the first Chinese-Australian novel, which gives a sympathetic insight into the predicament of Chinese women in traditional family structures. However, the author’s life seemed to fly completely in the face of his enlightened attitudes. A bit too Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are- ish for me.