SFF 2011: HOW TO START YOUR OWN COUNTRY: The Hutt River Royals Hit The Dendy CQ

10 Jun


By Lukey Folkard, Sydney Film Festival Correpondent

His Dubious Royal Highness, Prince Leonard of Hutt River Province, graced the Sydney Film Festival red carpet on Thursday with Princess Shirley in tow for the opening of How To Start Your Own Country.

Australia’s only royal family and once controversial seceders have gotten quite a lot older since founding the Hutt River Province and now they’re subjects of one of the first films about micronations.

This Canadian documentary by Green Porn director Jody Shapiro, takes the viewer to five of the world’s more famous micronations. Inspired by Erwin Strauss’ 1985 book of the same name, what starts as a quirky narrative on eccentric, island owners soon develops into a meditation on the legitimacy of nationhood and/or the illusion of it.

From silly Seeland and Molossia Republic to the bigger, serious, questions of Palestine and the UN,
if you haven’t heard of micronations before this will be a good starting point. Unfortunately the whole piece felt a bit ‘lite’ for me, having already an interest in the subject. It’s well edited and features great music and cinematography, but lacks the humour and originality of Danny Wallace’s 2005 BBC doco series of, again, the same name. Hmmm… Jody Shapiro had originally approached BBC to produce.

Either way, Prince Lenny went home to his kingdom happy. A short, enjoyable, bit of edutainment at only 72 minutes.



2 Responses to “SFF 2011: HOW TO START YOUR OWN COUNTRY: The Hutt River Royals Hit The Dendy CQ”

  1. Lukeyfolkard June 10, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    By Lukeyfolkard 🙂

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