The Shack Life documentary film made by filmmakers Lesley Branagan, Liam Branagan, and Brent Melton from Cat and Dog Films depicts the unique shack communities in the Royal National Park south of Sydney. Established in the 1930’s as places where people survived the rigours of the Depression, the shacks have been handed down through generations from the original builders, and the weekend communities continue to thrive against all odds. For decades, authorities challenged the rights of these communities and tore down many shacks. The fiercely proud community instigated a legal case and fought for formal recognition of their living heritage, winning a twenty year reprieve to stay in their shacks. Through a lively mix of archival materials and “shackie” interviews, from miners to artists Margaret Olley and Reg Mombassa, Shack Life portrays one community’s struggle for recognition of their emotional connection to land, and the heritage value of a rapidly disappearing way of life.
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