05 Dec 2023
Bonegilla The Migrants Journey

Bonegilla The Migrants Journey Premieres at Melbourne Museum Theatre

For immediate distribution                                                 

Victorian Filmmaker Digs Deep into Australian History to Create Bonegilla the Migrants Journey 

Australia has been founded on immigration, but how much do Australians really know about the wave of post-war migrants who shaped this country? Simon Reich, musician, composer and filmmaker grew up in Wangaratta, the son of a German immigrant who arrived in Australia from war-torn Berlin, just like hundreds of thousands of other refugees after World War 2. After the success of the award-winning podcast Simon created about his father (as part of his Bachelor of Audio studies) “Up from the Rubble”, he began travelling the country interviewing people who passed through the Bonegilla Migrant Camp in Albury / Wodonga. The culmination is “Bonegilla – The Migrants Journey” a film with on-stage accompaniment to be presented at Melbourne Museum this December. 
“This show is the culmination of many years of research and interviews,” said Reich. “When I was creating “Up From The Rubble”, I was so surprised at the stories my dad had to share. There were so many things that I didn’t know, and it really ignited my interest to learn more from other immigrants and their stories too.”

The multimedia show runs for around one and a half hours and features filmed firsthand interviews with people from various European countries. Simon’s skill as a composer was used extensively in the audio documentary. The film includes migrants’ own photographs and videos, sound design and a string quartet featuring members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Reich, an accomplished musician, will play the grand piano live on stage as he and the ensemble accompany the film providing the soundtrack for the complete running time.

This show is nothing like a dry and dusty history lesson. Instead, it is a multimedia presentation that features the migrants telling their own stories of the war. The audience learns of their experiences, including why they wanted to travel to the other side of the world and how they fared in their newly adopted country. At times, the piece is tragic, disheartening, and racist, but ultimately, it’s a feel-good story of daring and inspirational people who created the backbone of Australian society.

With the war in Ukraine and Israel and continuing hostility towards migrants, this project shows that Australia and the world, still have a lot to learn from the past.

The show opens on Thursday 7th and will present three shows including a matinee on Friday 8th December. Tickets are available from www.bonegillamigrants.com.au


For media enquiries and interviews contact Bronny Lane, Publicist bronwen@littletrain.com.au | 0413 221 252.