Over d-fence

by Deacon, Destiny

2004

Duration
7

A satirical reworking of the Neighbours format finds Indigenous families recreating outback social networks in the urban landscape, but racial taunts and demonstrations of un-neighbourliness suggest that the legacy of colonisation is ever-present.

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Deacon skilfully converts Australia’s longest-running TV drama into an episodic, Indig-enous melodrama. Over d-fence takes us into Deacon’s outdoor domestic environment cleverly revealing that the backyard is no lon-ger a haven or sanctuary.This is no Ramsay Street! Deacon’s witty sketches and comedic interludes are undercut by unneighbourli-ness: aggressive dogs barking and an inter-fering neighbour peeping over the fence with the taunt: ‘I know you’re drinking in there’. Deacon’s cast, often family members, play a game of dismantling a pyramid of beer cans, while masks are placed on children as end-less scenes of alienation unfold. Informed by vaudeville and burlesque, there is a sense of absurdity in Deacon’s racy humour and high melodrama. Natalie King

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