“The Everlasting Secret Family”
Disturbing but Well Made
“The Everlasting Secret Family” (Ariztical) is a very distiurbing but well made film. One the reasons that it is so disturbing is because it is based on the life of a prominent Australian politician, Rich in dramatic conflict and loaded with sexual nuance, it is a provocative film. The subject matter deals with a youth who is inducted into an all pervasive secret society whose members include high ranking and powerful men in Australia. Likewise it also confirms what some sections of society believe—this is how rich and powerful homosexuals operate. In exposing this aspect of Australian society, the film is tantalizing.
The atmosphere of the film is bucolic which makes sense of we look at the location of Canberra, the capital of Australia and its location—in the middle of nowhere. Senator Arthur Dignam (John Meilon in quite a performance) and his “peers” meet as an exclusive secret family which recruits young boys from the most select schools and uses them to pursue the decadence of their erotic desires. One young boy Paul Goddard (Mark Lee) particularly attracts Dignam and he leads him into a world of degrading behavior and thought. The Senator also takes a wife which makes Paul realize that if he loses his youth, he will also lose his position as Dugnam’s favorite, a position that is particularly financially appealing to him. To assure his position with the Senator, Paul uses his energies to raise his son. After sixteen years, the son, heavily influenced by his mentor and companion accepts his own homosexuality and is initiated into the “family”. The focal point of both the Senator and the son is the same man—the lover of one and the mentor of the other—or is there more?
The movie obviously had to be made to show how Australia was when homosexuality was illegal and contacts were made through the underground.
What we get is not a pretty picture. We see a society of gays involved in subversive activity, a secret homosexual society that infiltrated the upper crust of the Australian political and class system in a subtle and silent way. The movie says a lot and Australia has ever reason to be proud of how far she has come.