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Man on the Bus (ATOM Study Guide)

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SKU: SG1716


Man on the Bus follows one woman's journey through a series of shocking revelations about her family history. As psychologist and filmmaker Eve Ash investigates her parents' story, she uncovers secrets that upend her life.

Gripping interviews, home movies and archival footage plant notes of suspicion and reveal clues – names in a street directory; old 8mm films; mention of a man on a bus in an old recording. A bombshell follows and Eve’s image of her mother, Martha, a Polish survivor of the Holocaust, is blown apart.

For Eve, the truth came out in a stunning way. In January 2008, she received an email from a stranger who claimed to be her sister. When they met, Eve was startled by how much the stranger looked like her. A DNA test confirmed that they were, indeed, half-sisters. This woman’s father was a man named ‘Dixie’ who Eve had known as a child. And, in fact, he was the mysterious man on the bus that Eve had heard mentioned and had spotted in Martha’s home movies. Was Eve the product of an affair that Martha had with him?

Following this revelation, Eve set out to find Dixie, who was working full-time in Melbourne as a land surveyor at the age of 83. He is a defiant non-conformist who was father in different ways to ten children with six different women, and Eve strives to make sense of this piece of her story. In doing so, Eve finally manages to connect the dots of her life, from the Holocaust atrocities to her mixed emotions about her fathers. She gets to the truth of her own identity, resolving the feelings of ‘differentness’ that have always stalked her, and achieves closure.

Curriculum Links:

Man on the Bus is a recommended resource for students in Years 10 – 12 in the following areas:

  • English
  • Community and Family Studies
  • History
  • Human Society and Its Environment Life Skills
  • Media
  • Society and Culture
  • Sociology

Man on the Bus is also available to stream here.

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