"The greatest speechwriter this country has produced." Laurie Oakes, Daily Telegraph

2018 Ruth Cullen | GoGo Yolt P/L

Director's Statement

My films have always been about bringing fresh perspectives onto the screen – somewhere where you haven’t been before. I wanted this film to feel like the viewer is spending a single night inside Graham’s mighty mind, pole vaulting around key influences and events.

 

This documentary is about a love of politics and why politics matter.  By focusing on Graham, I wanted to show the intelligence, the dedication and the passion that goes into the shadowy world of the political staffer - someone in the thick of things but one who is spared the public scrutiny and accountability that politicians face.  It’s a perspective that we haven’t seen on the screen in such an intimate and revealing way - until now.

 

The Scribe is also about the ties that bind, as it explores the symbiotic and unique relationship between Graham and Gough Whitlam which lasted for over 50 years - opposites in temperament yet an absolute meeting of the minds. Graham was frequently referred to as the ghost of Whitlam.  Gough described Graham as “my dearest friend and comrade”.

 

The Trump presidency has been a game changer in the language of governance and now is the time to reflect on just what that means for democracy and leadership - and the language of politics is the key to that.    

 

Democracy is under threat and the way to preserve it is by engaging with the political processes not ignoring them. Traditionally, the scribe was the bridge between the intention and the audience.  Now the scribe becomes the orator.

 

I am not one for nostalgia but in this instance the past has immense relevance today - regardless of one’s political persuasion.  

Ruth Cullen

Producer / Director / Writer