Watch: Rusty Miller and Steve Cooney on 'The Morning of the Earth'
Fifty years ago, Alby Falzon released The Morning of the Earth, a film that both chronicled the country soul movement and held aloft the ideals of a simpler lifestyle.
In 1972, Australia had spent almost 25 years under conservative party rule, offering fealty to a distant queen, and for ten years we'd increased our involvement in the Vietnam War, till every young man who came of age was forced into the conscription roulette.
Yet change was coming, first apparent in demography; an inordinate number of babies born post-WWII were coming of age, and the attitudes they held contrasted with those of their parents. A sense of optimism, hope, and a fair dash of adventure too, fuelled social change and it was into this environment that The Morning of the Earth was released.
Photographer and filmmaker Chris Duszynski first saw the film as a teenager in landlocked Cooma and, like many of his generation, points to it as a pivotal moment, his world subtly shifting from that day forth. The film had a similar effect on generations to follow. Gough may have come and gone, The Vietnam War ended, but the ideas within The Morning of the Earth endured.
Last year, with both the anniversary approaching and the publication date of Steve Cooney's book Unearthed, Chris reached out to both Rusty Miller and Steve Cooney to chat about the Bali scenes, arguably the most memorable section in the movie. Both spoke eloquently of that trip half a century ago, and remained thankful for the invite that Alby extended.
The interviews are spliced with footage Chris has taken himself - he left Cooma shortly after seeing MOTE and the Indonesian stamp is just one of many that filled his passport book. The music is by 'Tropical Strength', otherwise known as the brothers Webster, Russell and Alastair.
Chris would like to thank Russ and Alastair, plus Steve and Rusty for giving their time.