a film by Jonathan Duffy
2011 | 96 mins | Australia
›› The Doctor's Wife
an inspiring documentary on love and sexual acceptance.
The Doctor's Wife by Jonathan Duffy
Adapted Synopsis:-

This life-affirming documentary follows director Jonathan Duffy and his partner, Dr Vincent Cornelisse, as the couple make the angst-inducing decision to leave the Australian metropolis of Brisbane for Mundubbera; a small country town in Queensland.

The film explores the couple's journey, as they move into a close-knit community and wonder how they will be received, as perhaps the first openly gay couple, in town.
The Doctor's Wife by Jonathan Duffy
Dave Says:-

Paying for his medical education by way of a scholarship agreement to spend the next four years as a doctor in rural Queensland, so it is that young lovers Jonathan aka Jono and now Dr Vincent find themselves exchanging the bright lights of a city with a population of over two million, for life in a small Australian town, with a seasonal peak of little over two thousand.

Openly out from day one, by way of Vincent's newspaper styled announcement of the arrival of the new doctor and "his partner Jonathan," it is here that this emotional work cuts to the core, by raising the question that any same-sex couple would have in moving to a new area, namely how will they be accepted in a town in which and in this case, no-one was "officially" out and proud? Only any such feelings of trepidation were to prove unfounded, given and beautifully turning the table of prejudice on its head, the townsfolk were to greet the boys with open arms, especially when and after a period of self-imposed boredom, Jono and in true doctor's wife fashion, became involved in a variety of media and sports activities, immersing himself totally in the area to the benefit of its citizens and in particular its children.

Intercut with a series of interviews with the townsfolk, alongside the views of Vincent and Jono and their city based friends and family, coupled with the odd mock styled info ad / camera twin trickery and complete with a lush opening "rainbow flag flying" sequence courtesy of Lorna Dougan-Doyle, this is a work that in speaking of sexual acceptance, does however leave a number of key questions unanswered. For whilst the arrival of Vincent and Jono in Mundubbera would forever change the attitudes of everyone for the better, what this somewhat overlong documentary does not fully address is how the lives have changed or perhaps not, for Mundubbera's gay inhabitants who are just your regular guys? In short, are they more at ease to be their open sexual self, OR do they still hide in the shadows, given their appearance on camera, is all too noticeable by its absence. As too, are the specifics for the "trouble at mill" in Vincent's life during the eventful finale, whilst the contrast between the bustling streets of Brisbane juxtaposed with the serene beauty of Mundubbera and its surrounding countryside, is all too faded in the background to give any true sense of scale, as to the momentous change in their lives.

That said, you cannot help but take away from this film the fact that by becoming valued members of their local community, together with being honest about their relationship from the onset and thereby putting not one, but two faces to the word "gay," Vincent and Jono had endeared themselves to one and all. And it is here that this work truly shines, in showcasing how the roads of a small town turned out to be more sexually tolerant, than many a street in a big city. An inspiring documentary on love and sexual acceptance, even if it conversely illustrates the ingrained attitudes of some city folk, who view their countryside cousins as homophobes, ready to run gays out of town with a pitchfork. But then and given the tragic events of Laramie, Wyoming; perhaps that's not so surprising.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.
available on DVD as part of the Guest House Films catalogue: 13.November.2012 / US.
featuring interviews with Jonathan Duffy and Dr Vincent Cornelisse,
alongside the views of their family and Brisbane / Mundubbera based friends.
with the voice of Wendy Holcombe.
special "thanks to the beautiful community of Mundubbera who were always
happy to cradle and support us through our journey."
official website:
Copyright 2013 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #2013004
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