My Brilliant Career

Screening on Film
Directed by Gillian Armstrong.
With Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes.
Australia, 1979, 35mm, color, 100 min.

Based on the true story of a resolute young woman who turns her back on social convention and follows her dream to become a writer, My Brilliant Career is a paean to turn-of-the-century Australia. Gillian Armstrong's feature debut is both stunning in its lyricism and utterly depressing; what makes it timeless is the feminist subtext of its heroine's commitment to creativity and independence. The film introduced audiences to Judy Davis, who is radiant in her star-making role as Sybylla Melvyn.

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: Directors A–D