Monday 30 March 2009

Frohe Ostern! (Happy Easter!)

Frohe Ostern! (Happy Easter!) is an impressionistic history of an Easter camping ritual on the Murray River.  It is an exquisite celebration by director Anna Jeffries about German migrants becoming three generations of Australians.

More than 50 family and friends of German background have camped in the same spot on Australia's Murray River every Easter for the last 40 years. Within the very Australian Easter tradition of camping holidays, their own German and unique rituals have evolved. They effortlessly carry out a fixed routine of activities: nest-making for the Easter Bunny's Eggs, an enormous Erbsensuppe (Pea Soup), silly Sunday competitions, a decadent formal afternoon tea and a magical lantern walk on Sunday night.

Started in 1969 by 14 young German migrants, three generations have keenly kept these habits up and, amidst a social climate of dying traditions, the youngest seem likely to maintain them. Time is gently explored through a goldmine of archival footage that conveys traditions and people growing, and a landscape changing, over 4 decades.

"Frohe Ostern! represents the style of film I've always imagined and wanted to make", says director Anna Jeffries.  "It explores the natural development of colourful and magical traditions at a time when rituals in modern Australian life seem to be diminishing."

Frohe Ostern! is a high-spirited micro-history that celebrates migrants becoming Australians over three generations, and their growing families' embracing of their German heritage.

The documentary airs on SBS Good Friday (April 10th) at 7.30pm. 

It can also be purchased from Ronin Films

A trailer can be viewed at


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