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Bjelke Bitter Beer Ad - Queensland Uni Revue 1977 - Satire

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Published on Mar 20, 2010

Dark satire set in local beer garden of ad for 'Bjelke Bitter - Queensland's Premier Beer'. Film originally produced for volunteer run 1977 University (Theatre) Revue, staged at the Schonell Theatre in Brisbane, Australia, and titled 'Life wasn't meant to be ..'. See complete song lyrics and background on Queensland's Bjelke-Petersen era below.

BACKGROUND - JOH BJELKE-PETERSEN ERA: From 1968, for well over a decade, Joh Bjelke-Petersen was the leader (Premier) of an authoritarian State Government in tropical Queensland. With a compliant mass media turning a blind eye to his behavior, he in effect operated a police state in which democratic rights to effective free speech and meaningful citizen opposition to his frequent abuses of power were squashed. He achieved this with the help of a highly manipulative propaganda machinery whose job was to pervert the truth, as well as a secretive and highly politicized arm of the state police force called the Special Branch. Their job was to spy on and intimidate all who would attempt to challenge the travesties and corrupt activities being committed. Anyone who wanted to see basic civil rights and truly democratic processes restored attracted their immediate attention. Police corruption to the highest levels were later exposed and prosecuted as a result of a public inquiry, with opponents' accusations against the government shown to be entirely true.

Lead performer in Satirical Ad: Australian actor, Malcolm Cork.

Postscript: Wayne Goss, a subsequently elected Labor Party Premier of the State and democrat, appears briefly in this scene, as do two other now prominent civil libertarian lawyers.

Film stock: Super 8mm sound. (Working to the prevailing equipment limitations, the fake ad was shot using a single camera in one continuous take - for sound continuity purposes.)

[For more on Joh Bjelke-Petersen on YouTube - See 'Joh's Jury' in 12 parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeR0RE...]

The inspiration for this satirical ad was of course the film version of "Cabaret". Cabaret is a 1972 American musical film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. The film is set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the ominous presence of the growing National Socialist (Nazi) Party. The film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret by Kander and Ebb, which was adapted from other sources as well.

The lyrics to the song "Tomorrow belongs to me" from the original beer garden scene in the movie 'Cabaret':

The branch on the linden is leafy and green
The Rhine gives its gold to the sea
But somewhere a glory awaits unseen
Tomorrow belongs to me

The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes
The blossom embraces the bee
But soon says the whisper, arise, arise
Tomorrow belongs to me

Oh Fatherland, Fatherland,
Show us the sign
Your children have waited to see.
The morning will come
When the world is mine.
Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs to me

Oh Fatherland, Fatherland,
Show us the sign
Your children have waited to see.
The morning will come
When the world is mine.
Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs to me

Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs
Tomorrow belongs to me

Footnote: "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb in the style of a traditional German song, sung by the Nazi youth in the movie, to stir up patriotism for the "fatherland". It has often been mistaken for a genuine "Nazi anthem" and has led to the songwriters being accused of anti-Semitism. This would be most surprising, as they are, in fact, Jewish (This fact has not stopped openly racist and anti-Semitic rock groups from recording the song and performing it at White Power rallies).

More on the acclaimed movie Cabaret here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabaret_...)

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