Quote taken from The Age Green Guide March
…the story of the op-shop ladies is a thoroughly engaging
half-hour that avoids didacticism and lets the story unravel with
a minimum of fuss.
Review from http://www.sensesofcinema.com
By Mark Freeman
The Op Shop Ladies of Emerald Hill
But whilst The Silent Scream typified the problems some had with
finding a particular focus or story, these were in the minority.
For the most part, St. Kilda featured a range of assured, confident
and provocative documentaries, the best being The Meat Game (Shannon
Sleeth, 2001), Breath of Fresh Air (Antony Balmain, 2002) and The
Op Shop Ladies of Emerald Hill (Cath South and Stewart Carter, 2003).
Here were three documentaries that took their basic subjects –
slaughterhouse workers, chroming and the running of an Opportunity
Shop respectively – and found greater narratives within, beneath,
around them. While Ozolins' The Collection gives us a woman's obsession
with videotape and leaves that as the only entry point, these others
found a range of problems to face and issues to unearth. The Meat
Game takes its central subject, a young boy earning a living at
the meatworks in Poowong, and slowly uncovers a story far richer
than we might expect. Less an investigation of a gruesome occupation,
The Meat Game spreads out to take a snapshot of a small town community
that is essentially trapped by its own size. Both Sleeth and the
directors of The Op Shop Ladies work to create communities, a sense
of place, and find the core of their subjects by pushing beyond
the obvious attraction of their surfaces.
Review taken from http://www.cpa.org.au/garchve05/1220worth.html
The Communist Party of Australia
TV Programs worth watching
The Op Shop Ladies Of Emerald Hill (ABC 8.00pm Tuesday) is a different
kettle of fish altogether. An affectionate study of two women who
have given 40 years of service in their local charity shop, it is
tinged with bitterness and anger as the gentrification of South
Melbourne places the shop's continued existence under threat.
The area may have gone upmarket, but as the current manager points
out, cutbacks to social security and other government policies of
a like nature mean that there is greater call for the charity's
services than ever before.
The Op Shop belongs to the Community Chest, a charitable organisation
with no equivalent in Sydney as far as I know. The Community Chest
raises money which is dispersed annually to local groups —
a kindergarten, a group providing meals for the needy, etc.
It is downright offensive to hear the "advisers" called
in by the local Council telling the Op Shop ladies they must run
the shop as "a business". Significantly, the ladies later
comment on the way people are shocked at how much the shop's prices
have gone up.
Return to Op Shop Ladies
Stewart Carter & Cath South
Director of Photography: Stewart Carter
ATOM Award Best Human Story Documentary 21st
Winner Highly Commended Award at the 2005 Flickerfest International
Short Film Festival
IF Audience Choice award at the 20th St Kilda Film Festival
The Age 24 March 2005