Rosemary’s Way celebrates charismatic change-maker, Rosemary Kariuki who we first met in Horin’s previous film, The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe. Kenya-born Kariuki has made it her mission to empower migrant women, enticing them out of cultural silos to connect with each other and wider Australian society.
Over the course of a year, we follow Rosemary as our ebullient facilitator as she coaxes isolated women from cultures as diverse as Iraq, the Congo and Peru, to tackle new adventures. The migrant women drawn into Rosemary’s wake are the key characters, as are the Aussie women who host them in their homes. It’s a powerful transformation as they find their voices and grow in confidence of their place in their new country.
At its core, Rosemary’s Way highlights the disparity between our concept and the reality of a multicultural Australia for many refugees and migrants. Australia has always had a strong commitment to the idea of multiculturalism, but does it hold true in the starkly polarised and often siloed world we live in? This is the core issue our intrepid hero Rosemary is tackling in her very unique way – her means are anything but orthodox, but laughter is her secret weapon.
The film touches on the themes of multiculturalism, community, kindness, gender equality, women’s rights, single parenting, family violence, domestic abuse, friendships, loneliness, and mental health, and in doing so, Rosemary’s Way and it’s accompanying impact campaign aims to create empathy and stimulate action in broader society to create a more welcoming Australia.
This is Director Ros Horin’s second documentary film. She has made a significant contribution to Australian theatre, from 12 years as the Artistic Director of Sydney’s Griffin Theatre Company, to directing close to 30 world premiere productions, including Andrew Bovell’s Speaking in Tongues (subsequently adapted to film as Lantana). Prior to Griffin, Ros established Playworks, the Women Writers’ Workshop, to support female playwrights. She has directed productions at the STC, MTC, Belvoir and Malthouse theatres, and lectured at NIDA and VCA. Ros’s first film, The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe, premiered at the 2016 Sydney Film Festival and screened at Melbourne International Film Festival. It has since been seen on SBS and NITV, had a theatrical release in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and screened at 18 International film festivals.
“Rosemary is an inspiration. If one person can achieve so much on her own, what might we all be able to achieve together.” – Director, Ros Horin
Producer Pat Fiske is an experienced director and producer of over 45 years, who was awarded the prestigious Stanley Hawes Award at the 2001 Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) for her outstanding contribution to the documentary industry in Australia. Pat was co-head of Documentary at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) for six years, and worked as the documentary consultant for SBS Independent for 18 months. Her films include award-winning documentaries Rocking the Foundations, Woolloomooloo, For All the World to See, about Fred Hollows, Doc, a portrait of Herbert Vere Evatt, Australia Daze, Following the Fence Line, Leaping off the Edge, An Artist in Eden and Night Patrol. She has produced Business Behind Bars, Selling Sickness, River of No Return, Scarlet Road, Love Marriage in Kabul, Oyster and Rosemary’s Way. Pat was also Supervising Producer for the National Indigenous Documentary Fund 5-part series, Call to Country and is in post-production as producer on When the Camera Stopped Rolling.
“It’s a deeply moving experience to watch how Rosemary uses her skill, foresight and compassion to change the lives of many.” – Producer, Pat Fiske