The Still Point explores the life’s work of Robert McFarlane, one of Australia's most respected and pioneering documentary photographers. Spanning five decades, McFarlane has put a mirror up to the changing face of Australia, providing a record of film and theatre during its cultural rebirth in the 1970s and 80s with images of Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis early in their careers, alongside political figures Bob Hawke and Gough Whitlam at times of upheaval. During the formative years of the Aboriginal rights campaign, McFarlane documented Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins in one of Australia’s most iconic photos. His own personal journey is chronicled as he reveals the tragic impact of losing his young son.
Linking archival footage and still photographic images with interviews, the film explores McFarlane’s important contribution to photojournalism and examines, through the intimacy of his observations, the sensitivity it takes to work in the space shared by photographer and subject. His images provide a window into the lives of others, documented without sentiment or nostalgia, where the real is more potent and intriguing than anything fabricated.
Following the personal pain that loss brings, McFarlane shows us through his photography what it is to appreciate the moment and to embrace the unexpected.
An award-winning film by Mira Soulio