Angelo Salamanca
Australian Cinema Ensemble



Almost Human

Feature Film
Genre: Drama / Bio Pic
Duration: 90 mins
Screenplay: Angelo Salamanca and Gwendolen De Lacy
Story Consultant: Gwendolen De Lacy 


‘Almost Human’ is a biopic about the maverick emigre photographer, feminist pioneer & colourful personality, Maggie Diaz.

Maggie arrived in Melbourne aboard the maiden voyage of ‘The Canberra’ in 1961 on a one-way ticket which was a divorce gift from her Australian husband.

‘Almost Human’ is a journey through the key events of the photographer's extraordinary life, with the anchor of the production held in her vast collection of photographs which span 1950s Chicago to 1990s Melbourne. This film will mainly examine the 1950s - 1970s era while also exploring the enduring friendship of three decades with her now curator, Gwendolen De Lacy, which led to the telling of her story.

In the form of a slideshow, set in 'the now' Maggie is asked by her friend about decisions that she made - a child given up for adoption, how her work saved her sanity and indeed her life. Moreover, it delves into what she thought about living as a photographic artist and someone who was constantly on the edge of society.

The film is a 'warts and all' tribute to a woman who walked both sides of the street and found her way of being in the world via a lens. She pushed beyond the realms of what was thought possible for a woman of her time and denied the frailties of the body and the mind.

By the end of her life, Maggie had lost an eye, the capacity to walk and Alzheimer's had ravaged her brain but her oeuvre tells a story that is important to Melbourne and to the understanding of what it is to live as an artist at all costs.

‘Almost Human’ is appealing and fascinating story and contains all the elements to make for an entertaining, multi-layered, and historically-important film.

Photo by Maggie Diaz - "1950s washing day"





The La Mama reading: stills photography by Trudy Kelder.