The Trouble with Merle

Merle Oberon was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s.

Studio publicists said she was born into a wealthy family in Hobart, Tasmania – Australia’s island state and, after her father’s death, joined her aristocratic godparents in India. Yet stories about the true origin of the exotic almond-eyed actress  persisted, competing side by side with urban myths and wild speculation.

But Merle’s birthplace and her ethnic origins are only one piece of the puzzle, and the film looks at the many alternative versions of reality which have entered Tasmania’s folklore, asking why various versions of the Merle story co-exist and why the fascination with her past has been kept alive so long.

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