Fred Schepisi's film, 'The Devil's Playground' is an intimate portrait of Tom, a thirteen-year-old struggling in spirit and body with the constraints of living in a Catholic seminary. It is also the story of the Brothers and how they cope with the demands of their faith. Made in 1976, this semi-autobiographical films established Schepisi as one of Australia's most talented directors and was one of the first Australian films to be selected for Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. Christos Tsiolkas invites you into his twenty-five year journey of viewing, reviewing and re-imaging the film. He remembers his first illicit experience of the film at the age of thirteen and describes how his views of it changed in later years. As he chronicles the impact of 'The Devil's Playground' on the development of his sense of self and of his love of cinema, he also explores the film in terms of sexuality, politics, history and aesthetics. Tsiolkas' account of what 'The Devil's Playground' said and didn't say to him is a passionate tribute to the power and possibilities of cinema.
Shortlisted for NSW Premier's Literary Award Gleebooks Award for Cultural & Literary Criticism 2003.