Archive for Love Lust Lies

Love, Lust & Lies – 2010

Posted in 2010, Australian, Documentary/Mockumentary with tags , on December 12, 2010 by filmglutton

In 1975, young director Gillian Armstrong made a documentary about 3 working-class teenage girls in Adelaide, exploring what it was like to be a 14-year-old girl. The girls were Josie, Diana and Kerry, and the documentary provided a brutally honest insight into their lives. What’s life like now that they’re pushing 50?This is the fifth in this documentary series which has followed these women since they were 14 years old. Don’t fret if you haven’t seen the previous ones, because we are given a recap at the beginning to bring us up to speed. I had seen the other instalments and I was very keen to catch up with these women.


Gillian Armstrong is one of my favourite filmmakers, and this is just a wonderful documentary, the best of the series (she won the ADG Award for Best Director of a Documentary in 2010 for this film). The women in this are so real, and we really see life unfolding before our eyes. All three women had similar upbringings in a poorer area, but their current lives are very different. Kerry is the most ‘normal’: she married in her late 20s, and has been with her husband ever since. She also had kids later, and as a family unit they all seem very happy. This has been a successful step up in life for Kerry. Diana is the most disappointing of the group. Always outspoken and vivacious, Diana was married with a baby at age 18, and has always struggled to gain her own independence. I don’t want to say too much about her and spoil to documentary for you, but there are a lot of revelations here about her marriage and her children. It’s like Diana is trying to re-live her youth; she is very thin (too thin) and dresses like a teenager. She has gambling problems and just generally seems to be very immature. My favourite throughout the series was always Josie. Josie is warm and honest with a truly beautiful soul. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to that’s seen this film has connected with Josie, and she’s also been the one with the most heartache. Some family skeletons are revealed in this doco (one of her revelations about her mother had me bawling), but generally we already know Josie had it tough. She had two children by age 18, and, in one heartbreaking sequence from 1980’s 14’s Good, 18’s Better, Josie revealed that she sent herself flowers when she was in hospital because everyone else had flowers, so why shouldn’t she? It’s this kind of honesty that makes Josie so endearing . She’s done it tough, but she’s a battler and really trying to make something of herself. Aside from the three women we also see their families, including the next generation. This invites an interesting comparison between the women and their children, and gives us some insight into what effect a lack of education can have on future prospects and happiness.


I enjoyed this film immensely. It’s so real and powerful, and I really care about these women and the choices they make. There’s a lot of sadness, a lot of laughter, and it’s an extremely interesting look at life. I made my whole family watch it and they liked it too. The issues here are universal, so if you are interested in documentaries, try to get your hands on this one. You won’t be disappointed.

My rating: