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Directed by Richard Lowenstein
Produced by Miranda Bain
Timothy White
Written by Richard Lowenstein
Based on book Dead Men Don't Dig Coal by Wendy Lowenstein
Starring Chris Haywood
Carol Burns
Music by Declan Affley
Cinematography Andrew de Groot
Edited by Jill Bilcock
Distributed by Ronin Films
Release date
  • 20 September 1984 (1984-09-20)
Running time
101 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget A$750,000[1]
Box office A$157,000 (Australia)

Strikebound is a 1984 Australian film directed by Richard Lowenstein and based on the Wendy Lowenstein novel Dead Men Don't Dig Coal. The film got several AFI Award nominations and won in the Best Achievement in Production Design category.[2]

Strikebound is the dramatised story of a coal-miners' strike in 1930s Australia, in the small south Gippsland town of Korumburra. The story is told through the struggles of Agnes and Wattie Doig, two Scottish immigrants, who were real people.[3]



Richard Lowenstein had made a short film Evictions about the unemployed during the Depression. He felt slightly unsatisfied by the experience and wanted to have another attempt at the subject matter. During the making of the short film he had mt Wattie and Agnes Doig and heard stories about unionism in coal mining in Victoria. He spent the next two years researching the story.[3]

The film was originally envisioned as a 50-minute dramatised documentary called The Sunbeam Shaft but evolved into a feature film. The film was partly shot at a real disused mine in Wonthaggi.[1] and Maldon, in Central Victoria.

Lowenstein was only 23 years old when he made the film.

Box office[edit]

Strikebound grossed $157,000 at the box office in Australia,.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p41
  2. ^ IMDb awards
  3. ^ a b Scott Murray, "Richard Lowenstein", Cinema Papers, August 1984 p211-213, 291
  4. ^ Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office

Further reading[edit]

  • Murray, Scott, ed. (1994). Australian Cinema. St.Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin/AFC. p. 297. ISBN 1-86373-311-6. 

External links[edit]