Whitlam: The Power and Passion

Duration: 2 x 60'
Production Company: Beyond Entertainment Unscripted
Broadcaster: ABC (Australia)

The hard-fought rise and dramatic fall of a visionary Prime Minister

This documentary tells the extraordinary story of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, during one of the country’s most turbulent eras. Whitlam entered Parliament in 1953 but it wasn’t until 1972 that he became PM – the first Labor leader of the country for 23 years. His persona and policies hit a chord with rebellious baby boomers railing against sexism and racism, and demanding peace not war, especially in Vietnam. He exercised power at breakneck speed, appointing a government advisor on women (a world first) and investing heavily in the country’s infrastructure but, only one year in, the cracks began to appear. With its scandals and political deaths, dizzying heights and terrible lows, Gough Whitlam’s rise and fall reads like Shakespeare, in 1970s’ safari suits. Heroic to some, flawed to others, his changes still echo across Australia today.