Saturday, November 29, 2008

Battle Flagging Father


I've talked about Hamish Sewell's radio documentary, Battle Flagging Father, a lot lately. It follows a really strange family journey that begins and ends in the small mindedness of the confederate American south.

Here's a more official description of the story:

Earlier this year Brisbane based writer and radio documentary maker Hamish Sewell travelled to Alabama in the American 'Deep South' to meet his estranged father for the first time in more than 30 years. This tentative reconciliation had to bridge not only a distance of many thousands of kilometres and a lifetime of separation, but the profound gulf between their values and understandings of history, symbolised by the giant Confederate flag (the 'Battle Flag' of the American South) hanging on Jim Sewell's front porch. The gulf between father and son is all the more profound when you know that Hamish's mother was a prominent New Zealand feminist and a senior government bureaucrat.

Set against the re-enactment of a Civil War battle, and the last stages of the Democratic Party's presidential primaries campaign, Battle Flagging Father is the story of what happens when two very different worlds collide, and an intimate portrait of two men attempting to reach out across a great divide.

Sometimes you just have to look the other way if you want to connect.

Go to the Radio Eye site to see hear the story and look at photos.

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