Title Details

Do I Have to Kill My Child?

A disturbing drama about a young mother who physically abuses her baby.
Year : 1976 | Total Duration : 52 Minutes | Producer : Timothy Read, Janet Isaac
Director : Donald Crombie |
Actor Jackie Weaver as Dianne, biting her nails. Actor Jackie Weaver, as Dianne, trying to ring for help late at night while her baby is screaming. Cinematgrapher Dean Semler, framing a shot indoors with sound recordist Howard Spry in the background, and Director Donald Crombie to his side.
WS woman, Dianne carrying files entering garden and up stairs to house. MS greeting husband, Ross in study with news of confirmed pregnancy. WS of the couple entering school room for farewell for teacher Ross. MS headmaster making speech and MS Ross and colleagues holding cups of tea. MS track presentation of presents to both and zoom to Dianne opening present of bag of nappies.
Access No. 134170 | 12 mins 30 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
WS barbecue at night with MS of banter between men and conversation between women with differing versions of how the pregnancy came about. CUs Dianne and Ross arriving home at night and kissing in car. MS seeing Dianne's mother off at end of evening. Ross and Dianne in bed together with Ross dismissing Dianne's doubts about another baby.
Access No. 134171 | 3 mins 46 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
VS family including Dianne's parents packing up house preparing to move out. MS mother going through box of medications and CUs of conversation with mother critical of Dianne's life. Zoom out from children farewelling their grandparents and family then leaving in car.
Access No. 134175 | 4 mins 2 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Track of heavily pregnant Dianne strolling through markets then pushing shopping trolley along footpath. Zoom out to WS shopping centre. Cut to MS Dianne in counsellors office relating her story. Two girls running up driveway after school to help Dianne bringing in clothes from clothesline. VS Dianne and girls in kitchen having series of arguments before Dianne resumes ironing.
Access No. 134176 | 4 mins 3 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
GS Ross arriving home in car and having argument with Dianne. Cut to MS Dianne in counsellors office relating her birth experience. MS Dianne holding face mask looking at newborn Jamie in humidicrib. GS Dianne in hospital bed talking to Ross about feeling low. Track of the family leaving Hornsby District Hospital with Dianne carrying baby. MS walking around house at night with crying baby.
Access No. 134178 | 5 mins 3 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
MS Dianne in bathroom with towel around her preparing to have shower. Baby starts to cry and she leaves with shower still running. LS then MS to Dianne walking down suburban street carrying baby Jamie and talking to neighbour about her problems. MS Dianne in kitchen feeding Jamie in bouncinette. CU of Jamie crying and Dianne hurling bowl against wall, shouting then remorsefully crying.
Access No. 134179 | 2 mins 40 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
WS family gathered around pulpit for christening of baby Jamie. VS women gathered in kitchen after christening being criticised by mother. VS crying baby being passed around and back to Dianne who reluctantly deals with him. MS male doctor at desk listening to Dianne trying to communicate her problems with Jamie and prescribing medication without really listening to her concerns.
Access No. 134181 | 6 mins 4 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
VS Dianne and Ross having dinner party with another couple with a domestic dispute brewing between Ross and Dianne. MS Ross in bathroom cleaning teeth and Dianne sitting in bed reading Cleo magazine. MS Dianne rejecting Ross' advances in bed and arguing about Dianne's plans to resume work. MS Dianne lifting baby Jamie out of bassinette in middle of night and cut to MS of her talking about how she feels at such times expressing her fears to counsellor.
Access No. 134182 | 4 mins 14 secs | 1970s | Australia | © Contact Film Australia Collection Library | Colour |
MS young girls walking home from school then joining Dianne holding baby Jamie and neighbour at table. Children leave when Dianne responds coolly to them. Neighbour suggests Dianne gets help from her mother and laughs off Dianne's confessions of ill feelings towards baby. MS Dianne and Ross watching television with Ross objecting to changing Jamie's wet nappy, arguing and Dianne angrily leaving room with him.
Access No. 134184 | 2 mins 42 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
VS Dianne changing crying baby Jamie's nappy on change table. CU Jamie grizzling. Dianne rejoining Ross in front of television and CUs having argument about work and child commitments. VS Dianne and Jamie at baby health clinic with Sister weighing him and cut to Dianne in counsellors office talking about times she nearly hurt Jamie. MS Ross intercepting Dianne being rough with Jamie, feeding him himself and ultimately telling her to pull herself together.
Access No. 134186 | 5 mins 37 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
MS Ross waking in bed in darkness to baby Jamie's crying and walking into room to find Jamie on floor and Dianne outside at night in her nightdress sobbing. GS family sitting tensely at dinner table and CU argument between Dianne and Ross. MS Dianne asleep in bed being woken by baby crying. CU Dianne making phone call and reaching recorded message. CU phone off hook left on table.
Access No. 134187 | 3 mins 11 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
MS Dianne rocking bassinette roughly back and forth, knocking things over and waking older children. CU Dianne in state of shock. WS Dianne sitting on hospital bench with daughters sleeping as Ross comes out of door with doctor then walking down corridor to Dianne to tell her baby Jamie's fractured skull. CU angry Ross confronting tearful Dianne in argument which ends with Diane slapping him across his face.
Access No. 134189 | 2 mins 40 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
MS Dianne in counsellors office tearfully concluding her story and leaving office. CU female counsellor making phone call to Ross after Dianne leaves. Pan from pink flowers in vase to Ross reading from holiday brochures to Dianne with zoom out to them sitting on lounge in their home. CUs Dianne trying to make Ross see she needs help.
Access No. 134190 | 3 mins 37 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |