Mike and Stefani (1952)

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A miserable commercial failure, R. Maslyn Williams's documentary about two lost lovers searching for each other in the aftermath of WWII was rediscovered in the late 1990s by film buffs in the United States. Truly a film ahead of its time, Mike and Stefani is a majestic humanistic document shot against the ruins of Eastern Europe, and a documentary that's as inventive as it is innovative. The film tells the true story of Mycola and Stefanie, a Ukrainian couple split apart in the war. In their own words, we hear how they suffered through the war's privations, were interred in labor camps, and then resettlement camps, never knowing if the other was alive or dead. Once reunited, they decide to immigrate to Australia. The film shows them going through the selection process, including a few humorous moments while being interviewed by an Australian official. A masterpiece of documentary film, Mike and Stefani is perhaps the only Australian film to show the influence of Italian Neo-Realism.