Enemy Alien

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2014
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Enemy Alien is a feature screenplay inspired by the diaries of a German-Australian internee written during World War One and based on true stories of the treatment of the German-Australian community during this conflict. Its characters are both real historical figures and characters who have been invented. The exegesis explores the interplay between 'soft fiction' and 'hard fact' in the writing of an historical screenplay. The exegesis examines the creative process of transforming historical fact into cinematic drama and asks to what extent the screen writer can invent parts of a screenplay and still call it history? When does a creative work set in the past cease being history and start being fiction? The exegesis charts the recent 'History Wars' debates in Australia during which historians and commentators argued over the nature, methods and purpose of history. It also looks at ongoing and fiercely argued debates between fiction writers and historians over where the line between these two genres should be drawn. Finally, the exegesis explores how the creative process transforms historical figures and facts into something more than themselves- into symbols and allegories. It asks whether cinematic representations of history should be judged by different rules to literary history.
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