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The second of four short films that comprise the feature film Libido, 'The Child' is set during the 1910s. The protagonist is a child whose father has left. The boy watches as first his mother and then his governess have affairs with a local man, with tragic consequences. The story deals essentially with the child's inner emotions and the disturbance that sudden exposure to overt sexuality in an adult world can cause.
An adaptation by Tim Burstall of Hal Porter's original story outline The Jetty.
Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of
Four short films combined as one release, Libido is concerned with the erotic drive within us all.
Two episodes deal openly with underlying psychological aspects of the sex-drive: 'The Husband,' which examines the paranoia of a somewhat immature husband who becomes more vulnerable as a result of his wife's emancipation and growing sense of independence, and 'The Priest,' which focuses on the traumatic effects of church dogma and belief on the minds of a priest and a nun in love.
For 'The Child' and 'The Family Man,' the psychological aspects are more implied than overt: 'The Child' deals with a child's inner emotions and the disturbance that sudden exposure to overt sexuality in an adult world can cause, while 'The Family Man' reveals the ugliness and contempt for women that sexual desire can generate in certain men, those in whose minds the qualities of love and respect are either undeveloped or non-existent.
Australia:Producers' and Directors' Guild of Australia,1973