Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Friday May 22, 2020 


The film documents Anne Boyd’s tumultuous time as the head of one of Australia’s major music faculties facing funding cuts each year. As she guides her talented young students through their creative exploration and formal studies, Boyd also has to grapple with the administrative and financial pressures that are creating tensions within the University, within the faculty and even within herself.

Rightly produced under Film Australia’s National Interest Program, Facing the Music is a highly personal and pointedly political film in more ways than one. It certainly is in the national interest to explore the subject raised by the film: the funding of higher education in Australia. The most impressive aspect of this famed duo’s work is the cohesive story telling that has been achieved, thanks to some fine editing by Ray Thomas.

We see Anne Boyd under intense pressure as she fights for high educational standards without much support. At first, she is reluctant to take industrial action, but desperate circumstances trigger desperate measures. And she becomes not only active but pro-active. Through this intensely personal journey, we get caught up in the issues – ever-shrinking funding for Boyd’s music department.

As Albert said, everything is relative, and the importance of higher level music education doesn’t stack up against the wars and famines of the planet. But in the context of Australia’s social and intellectual life, its progress as a modern nation, higher education in all its manifestations is pretty damn important. These terrific documentarians take us into a world we rarely see, and stimulate us with their observations, with the subject put into context and explored at a human level.
Andrew L. Urban

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DOCUMENTARY FEATURING: Professor Anne Boyd, Sydney University Music Faculty, and students
PRODUCERS: Film Australia
DIRECTOR: Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson
CAMERA: Bob Connolly
EDITOR: Ray Thomas
MUSIC SUPERVISOR: Christine Woodruff
RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Sydney & Canberra July 5, 2001; Melbourne & Brisbane Aug 4, 2001

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