The Pool is a two-part documentary series that evokes deep nostalgia and childhood memories to look at Australian identity through the prism of the Pool. The pool is a focal point for leisure and community, but beneath its allure as a hedonistic playground lies the surprising and untold story of a battleground where feminism, racism and sexuality were explored, and sporting heroes born.
We are the world capital of pools – Australia boasts more than 100 ocean pools, more than 1000 public pools and more than one million backyard pools. The pool is where we splash around as kids, chase Olympic-sized dreams as teens, keep fit as adults and gather as a multicultural community of equals.
Stripped to our budgie smugglers or boardies, bikinis or burqinis, we all have nostalgic memories of the pool – relief from the blistering heat, the sting of chlorine, the terror of the school swim carnival, poolside fashion, bellyflops, bombs and dives.
The pool is also our theatre of competition, where Olympic heroes are crowned, and communities have fought for access and acceptance. From the Freedom Rides at Moree to the fight to keep Parramatta Pool open, unlike any other country on Earth, our pools play a pivotal part in our lives.
Directed by Sally Aitken, it is written by Barracuda author Christos Tsiolkas with Sally Aitken and Paul Clarke, and narrated by Richard Roxburgh.
The two hour long episodes air on Sundays September 22 and 29 at 7:40pm, and on iView.