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Douglas Mawson and the Australian Antarctic Expedition (1913) (silent)

Extract from Home of the Blizzard (1913)

In 1911 Frank Hurley, a Sydney based stills photographer, was asked by Douglas Mawson to become the official photographer for the Australian Antarctic Expedition. Home of the Blizzard (Frank Hurley's name for this film) documents the activities of Mawson and his party during the period December 1911 to March 1913. 

Douglas Mawson was a remarkable explorer and the expeditions he led helped claim for Australia 42 per cent of Antarctica. He is also famous for one of the most extraordinary feats of endurance in the history of Antarctic exploration. But Mawson was first and foremost a scientist. Whereas other explorers were driven by a nationalistic urge to claim territory or beat rivals, Mawson’s expeditions were primarily scientific. Their achievements in geology, cartography, meteorology, geomagnetism and marine biology were ground-breaking.

NFSA: 6465 Documentary (silent) courtesy National Film and Sound Archive

Activities

1. What does this short film clip show? Summarise what you see.
 

2. Does the film appear to have a main purpose or message? If so, what do you think it is?
 

3. Who made the film clip and when was it made? Use this information to try to work out why the film was made. Does this change what you think about the purpose of the film?