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Death or Liberty


Between 1793 and 1867 the British Government banished its radicals, dissenters and rebels to harsh prison colonies at the very edge of the known world, Australia.

What was their fate? Some escaped and returned to their homeland as heroes but many stayed on in this alien new world… and they made a difference. The life stories of these rebels are full of astonishing acts of bravery and derring-do. In their own words they tell tales that are at once stirring, heart wrenching, dark, creepy even funny. Death or Liberty brings to life a forgotten history of these convict rebels. They were transported in shackles and chains but distance did not silence them. Their voices returned to haunt their colonial masters and their acts of protest and rebellion helped to create one of the most robust democracies of the modern age.

Death or Liberty features celebrated troubadours, England’s Billy Bragg, Australia’s Mick Thomas and Ireland’s Lisa O’Neill as well a revered group of historians and experts headed up by authors Thomas Keneally and Dr Tony Moore. The dramatised documentary has a truly international cast of actors including Australia’s Kelton Pell and Russell Fletcher. It is set in the industrial and rural landscapes of England, Ireland, Wales and Canada then sails across the oceans all the way to Sydney Cove, Van Diemen’s Land and Western Australia.

Information for the Audience: 

Directors: Steve Thomas, Keith Farrell
Writers: Steve Thomas, Keith Farrell
Producers: Kath Symmons, Anna Grieve, Craig Dow Sainter - Exec Producer, Stephen Rooke - Exec Producer
Key cast:


Information for theatres: 

Student project: No
Completion date: 2015-08-15
Shooting format: RED
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Film color: Color
First-time filmmaker: No

Total votes: 465