Love and Fury

You go to my head
Judith and Nugget
The sacking and illness
Judith plans a trip
Burning the letters
Noni remembers
Love and Fury credits

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Documentary (2013) – ABC1
dir. John Hughes | prod. Philippa Campey, John Hughes | edit. Uri Mizrahi
Early Works

From the ABC website:

“LOVE & FURY concerns the life and works of two remarkable Australians, Judith Wright and H.C. ‘Nugget’ Coombs. Our story begins with their correspondence, released by the National Library in Canberra in 2009, making public for the first time one of the best-kept secrets in Australian literary and political public life – the 25 year clandestine relationship between Wright and Coombs. The story of their meeting, their love and their shared passions provides unique insights into the dreams and disappointments of a generation.

Judith Wright, among Australia’s foremost literary figures, poet, essayist, activist, dedicated herself to writing and fighting for a more humane Australia. Her passion was the land and the first Australians. She was often furious about what she saw as the betrayal of both. Her creative enterprise as a poet engaged deeply with very contemporary concerns of philosophy and language. H. C. ‘Nugget’ Coombs (1906- 1997) and Judith Wright (1915-2000) are without doubt two of Australia’s most admired figures.

Nugget Coombs, the policy intellectual, ‘sage’, advisor to governments at the highest level from Curtin to Whitlam and beyond, devoted the last decades of his life to the most rigorous commitment to Indigenous Australia. They each had enormous ambitions for Australian culture and society; their meeting in the early 1970s -Nugget was 66 and Judith 57 -was at a time of great optimism that must have mirrored for both of them, the early post war when shared ambitions for a new kind of Australia seemed achievable. This is a story of two people whose love, work and knowledge have much to tell us still.”

Featuring vocals by Hetty Kate and Olivia Bartley

Artscape: Love & Fury screened on ABC1, Tuesday 23 April at 10pm.

What the Critics have said...

“the carefully compiled footage is evocative and the personal reflections are vivid and sometimes very moving”. – Debi Enker, The Age Green Guide, 15 July 2010

“The great virtue of Love & Fury, an ABC television documentary built around the remaining Wright-Coombs correspondence, is that it respects the reticence on which the couple’s relationship was founded. The direct involvement of Wright’s daughter Meredith McKinney in the documentary is proof that its makers not only wished to set the record straight, but that they wished to do so with proper care and regard for their subjects. The result is admirably direct, though without a hint of prurience.” Georgie Williamson, The Australian, 20 April 2013