Directed by Lawrence Johnston
60 minutes
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The story of Arthur Stace, who famously chalked the word 'Eternity' on Sydney's streets. A brand-new restoration, courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive, of Lawrence Johnston's award-winning documentary.

A brand-new restoration, courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive's digital restoration program, of filmmaker Lawrence Johnston's stunning documentary, Eternity. Johnston's 1994 award winning film tells the story of Sydneysider Arthur Stace, who famously chalked the word 'Eternity' in elegant copperplate handwriting on the streets of his hometown. Stace had a hard life, growing up in inner-city poverty, working as a stretcher bearer in World War I, returning to Sydney a chronic alcoholic. In 1930, however, he embraced Christianity, sobered up, and started his life's work - going out each night to write his anonymous message on Sydney's pavements. Today, his message is a Sydney icon, referenced by artists like Martin Sharp, and emblazoned across Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of the 2000 New Year's Eve celebrations. 

The film, using interviews, and with haunting images of the city's once grand architecture (vividly filmed in black and white by Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe), recreates Stace's extraordinary story.

Presented by the National Film and Sound Archive’s digital restoration program – NFSA Restores – reviving our cinema icons.

For school bookings at $10pp, please fill out out this form and send it to for processing. Teachers free with 10 or more students and ATOM Study Guides for this film can be downloaded here.

Special Guests

Lawrence Johnston
Director, Screenwriter
Susan MacKinnon


Wed 12 June
Event Cinemas George St 9
Past Event Cancel
Thu 13 June
State Theatre
Past Event Cancel
Sponsored By
Program Strand
Classics Restored, Screen Day Out, Selling Fast, Festival Guests
In English
Lawrence Johnston
Susan MacKinnon
Dion Beebe
Annette Davey
Documentary, Seniors, Arts, Australian Films, Biography, Cinephile, Family, Festival Award Winners, Religion & Belief, Retrospective
Company Credits
Print Owner: NFSA
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