Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

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About the film

A new kind of war memorial What happens when you destroy a war memorial and what do you put in its place? These questions faced Arts Officer, Colin James, and Project Manager and Artist, Amanda Gibson as they looked for ways to replace the much-loved Greensborough War Memorial statues, which had stood for 14 years in a local park. Carved from cypress, and still rooted in the soil, moisture had crept up inside the figures and rotted them from within. Homefront – a new kind of war memorial, begins with the burning of the old statues in a ceremonial fire. What unfolds, through interviews with local war veterans, are narratives of terrible injuries, paralysing fear, humour, and love. Homefront is a rare insider’s view of a sculpture project where the people at the heart of these stories drove the design. Extraordinary footage documents the process of collecting the stories, designing sculptures and carving full-sized figures from blocks of raw cypress using chainsaws. The original carver, local legend Leigh Conkie, is joined by world champion Hikaru Kodama from Japan to realise Amanda Gibson’s designs. Joining them, blacksmith Roland Danenhauer, forges everything from an aeroplane propeller to a horse bridle, dog collar and poppies, with a well-hefted hammer and a keen eye. Together they create a new type of war memorial and a new way of telling stories of war and of homecoming.

Runtime 48 mins
Premiere Status Melbourne Premiere

Director(s) Michael Wilkins

Venue Cinema Nova

Address 380 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia

Date July 20, 2019

Time 2:00 pm

GenresAustralian, Feature Docs, Melbourne Stories

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2019 Films

Feature Docs

Blockbuster / Premiere


Docs After Dark




Hidden Gems / Indie

True Crime / Stranger Than Fiction

Doc Web Series / Video Essay

Melbourne Stories

World Cinema

Women in Film



Film Buff

Environmental / Tech / Health

Doc Challenge

Art Documentaries

Legends of Documentary




Award Winning

Get in touch Melbourne Documentary Film Festival GBO Box 4007 Melbourne 3000