If you want to watch the entire story of the last Labor government; I cannot recommend enough The Killing Season which charts Rudd’s rise and fall and then his climb back to the top in June 2013.
Presented by Sarah Ferguson, it is beautifully put together and sheds real insight on the character and approach to politics of key figures within the Labor party. This template for making documentaries is something that I would recommend to directors and producers everywhere.
You see very little of Ferguson herself, as the team opted for more time from the key protagonists. Instead you hear about key events from figures who were there and in their own words. In putting together the documentary they only relied on people who were present during key moments, which avoids the narrative crowding that we usually get from documentaries that depend on material from secondary sources.
There is a debate about who comes out better from The Killing Season. For me, Kevin Rudd wins this battle. Being the master of TV that he is, I couldn’t help but find myself sympathising with him as he talked about the trauma he suffered being dumped as Prime Minister and being turned off by the coldness of Gillard’s demeanour as she described the night she challenged him.
Overall though, Ferguson and the ABC team win the night. They have put together something that I know has interested people who have not got the foggiest idea about Australian politics. This is a well-researched and thought out piece of work. Ferguson didn’t fall into the trap of trying to tell the Rudd-Gillard story herself, rather she let the key actors do that for themselves.
Overall, this is a story worth knowing and for an international audience this is a documentary worth sharing.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs