A small film about an Australian family. Supposedly a real family. But you never know. To get out of the dregs of the working class in Australia, dockworker is the father, out of a family dominated by an alcoholic father who had too many children, but in those days after the second world war it was the norm, and to do it with glory and fame, that's the objective of Tony. He did it, that young son of that family who liked the piano, who loved swimming but only had his escape in mind, becoming the best in order to get to Harvard on a full scholarship. And he did it for sure. The film insists a lot on the rivalry between the two brothers pushed by the father into swimming, and swimming the same style. The father prefers the other son and gets berserk when it is Tony who wins, and that will precipitate the end. Tony's success provides him with the scholarship he wanted and he can go and swimming becomes an exacting hobby since swimming brought him what he wanted and he does not need it any more. The rivalry between the two brothers is pathetic. The father is a disaster of a father. But the escape of Tony is just an escape and does not bring much sympathy. He just goes away. And he drops the tool he worked on for twelve years or even maybe more once he has reached the object of his desire. Something is missing at the end: I guess real life is not always as much fun as a good film and does not make more than average films.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines