Praise from a communist newspaper

Colin Ross’s Achtung Australien! Achtung Asien! is commended for its attempts to pinpoint inequality and injustice in China and India.

The reviewer specifically cites the appearance of Gandhi and the scenes of Chinese dock workers, while arguing that Ross doesn’t go far enough:

“Just a small step further, Mr. Ross, show and tell more plainly what you saw. We want to be shown in even starker contrast the beauty of the world and the proximity of the rich and poor. And then we want to ask visitors of the workers’ cinemas if it’s not worth taking a stand for the conquest of this wonderful world and for the abolition of all injustice in our lives.”

This reading demonstrates the openness of the travelogue genre working to Ross’s advantage. It enabled different groups to find their interests reflected in his filmmaking. Ross was not uninterested in political and social reportage, which seems to have been enough of a distinction in travelogue filmmaking at the time. Instructively, in the subsequent review, another travelogue–Zwischen Amazonas und Feuerland (1930) by Rudolf Roch—is scathingly compared to Achtung Australien! Achtung Asien!: “If one would want to believe Roch, South America is only populated by rich people who stroll about and smoke cigars all day.”

Joachim Schätz

H.E. Achtung Australien! Achtung Asien! Welt am Abend. Nr. 270. 1930 Nov 18.

Topic: Colonialism
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30

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