Film should not glorify Martin Bryant in any way: Parry

LEFT: Stephen Parry. RIGHT: Martin Bryant.
LEFT: Stephen Parry. RIGHT: Martin Bryant.

A former Tasmanian senator who dealt with the tragic aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre says a movie about mass murderer Martin Bryant should portray him for who and what he is.

Stephen Parry said he was unhappy about the movie because it would cause people so much pain, and he could not imagine himself watching it.

"The hard part about it is this will evoke so much emotion in so many people," Mr Parry said.

However, he said it was a fact of life that tragedies get documented.

"As long as Martin Bryant is not glorified in any way, shape, or form, and is portrayed as who and what he is. I think anything that glorifies Martin Bryant is wrong, and I agree with those who said this would just open up so many wounds," Mr Parry said.

"Lots of films and documentaries are produced after tragic events; I understand that, but it's just not going to be helpful."

Before he was a senator Mr Parry was a Tasmanian police officer and a funeral director.

In 1996 his expertise as an embalmer saw him lead the team who prepared the bodies for relatives to view.

"It was painstaking, and the team worked long hours to get the job done for those families," he said.


Mr Parry said as with any tragedy turned into a film down the track, it forced people to deal with it again.

"I can't say I'm happy about it at all, but you can't stop it," he said.

"I just hope there are adequate resources and support mechanisms for those that do feel aggrieved, and their emotional recollection is severe again."

Mr Parry said the conspiracy theories that arise, including some that involved him, made him angry.

"That is annoying, particularly when conspiracists name (former Prime Minister) John Howard, Damian Bugg (ex-Tasmanian Director of Prosecutions) and me as part of their conspiracy theory several times, and I just wish those sort of people would go away because they cause more harm," Mr Parry said.

"That's where I get my residual anger from those people who constantly peddle conspiracy falsehoods that are just so far removed from reality."

The Geelong production with the working title Nitram (Martin backward) is directed by Justin Kurzel. Texan Caleb Landry Jones portrays Bryant, who killed 35 people and injured 23 others at Port Arthur.

Actress Judy Davis, Anthony LaPaglia, and Tasmanian Essie Davis also have roles.


This story Martin Bryant movie not helpful first appeared on The Advocate.