This article explores how Europe is depicted in contemporary Antipodean films by drawing on the example of An Angel at my Table (1990), Romulus, My Father (2007), Mr. Pip (2012), and Dead Europe (2012). The comparative case study of these cinematic adaptations shows, first, how (British) literature shapes the protagonists’ encounter with Europe. Second, the author examines whether the films perpetuate or counter the Eurocentric gaze. She argues that Campion and Roxburgh highlight characters’ diasporic longing for, and their catalytic or unhealthy attachment to, Europe as “imaginary homeland.” Adamson’s adaptation, in turn, decenters Eurocentric visions, while Krawitz’s portrayal of Europe as “traumascape” rejects the alleged superiority of an idealized Europe even more forcefully than Tsiolkas’s novel does. Of the four films, only Mr. Pip visually engages postcolonial discourses and, at least indirectly, relates to the settler colonial contexts to which all four films belong. Ultimately, the films’ shared engagement with Europe broadens the national focus of earlier Antipodean cinema, offering various avenues to rethink identity and belonging beyond the national and the postcolonial.
"Countering the Eurocentric Gaze? Europe in the Antipodean Filmic Imagination,"
Antipodes: Vol. 34:
2, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/antipodes/vol34/iss2/7