The Ghan

The Ghan is an exploration of the history of the transformation of central Australia using the device of the journey of the Ghan train as it bisects Australia. The historical perspective is enhanced by the narrative arc being both a physical journey through space, as well as a journey through time. The train journey is a mapping of the natural landscape, juxtaposed with modern technology, but also a revelation of the palimpsest of other journeys etched into the landscape. By taking elements of the innovative documentary form of ‘slow tv’ and combining it with historical research, the documentary explores some of the roots of modern multicultural Australia, revealing how the construction of the transcontinental ‘Ghan line’, the subsequent development of Central Australia and the growth of Darwin, Alice Springs and Port Augusta, were brought about in no small measure through the contributions of Aboriginal Australians and early immigrants.

Credits: Flame Distribution