Documentary TV Series:

Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl

Click to share your rating 0 ratings (0.0/5.0 average) Thanks for your vote!
Mature Audience

Mature Audience

Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over.

NOTE: Violence and offensive language.


or 4 payments of $6.00 with Learn more

Available on orders $100 to $1000 Learn more

Clearance remaining stock must go - priced to clear!
In stock at Mighty Ape

The item is brand new and in-stock in the Mighty Ape warehouse. The item will ship within the timeframe shown below.

Order now and it ships tomorrow!
Free Delivery with Primate
Join Now or upgrade at checkout


This product is In stock at Mighty Ape and ready for immediate dispatch

Delivering to:

It should arrive:

  • Tonight 6-9pm using Same Day
    Mighty Ape can deliver this product in the evening between 6pm - 9pm tonight to qualifying addresses in Auckland. Learn more
  • Thursday using standard courier service


Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is a four part Australian documentary TV series on DVD (2 discs).

Following the award winning, critically acclaimed Once Upon A Time in Cabramatta, this is the untold story of how the Lebanese community overcame the odds and found their place in multicultural Australia.

Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is a landmark television series about Lebanese migrant settlement in SW Sydney and Australia. The Lebanese first settled in Australia in the late 1800s, but the series begins in the 1970s when the Lebanese Civil War and the abandonment of the White Australia policy introduces a new wave of migrants.

Over the coming decades, these new Australians work hard to establish their new life in their adopted country, but a series of domestic and global events is set to challenge the community.

In 1990, media and public reaction to the Gulf War brings hostility upon the Australian Arab community, forcing it into a declaration of loyalty. In the late 90’s Telopea St in Punchbowl becomes the drugs capital of Sydney, but the media makes the whole community feel vilified. In 1998, political and police pressure bears down on Lebanese youth following the murder of Edward Lee in Telopea St. In 2000, the Skaf gang rapes shock the nation and the Lebanese Australian community, as the media demonises the whole community. And after 9/11 the community feels the brunt of the Howard Government’s tough new anti-terrorism laws.

Simmering tensions explode in 2005 with Australia’s biggest race riot in modern history – the Cronulla Riots. It shocks a nation into rebuilding the fabric of multicultural Australia as the Lebanese-Australian community work hard at community bridge-building. Initiatives are launched such as On The Same Wave, where a group of Lebanese Muslim youths are trained to be surf lifesavers on Cronulla Beach. And the Mateship Trek, where Cronulla lifesavers and Lebanese teenagers do the Kokoda Track together.

The year after the Cronulla Riots, Jihad Dib becomes Deputy Principal of Punchbowl Boys High School, once regarded as the worst school in NSW. By 2009 Jihad Dib has turned the school around, recording some of the fastest growth rates in writing and numeracy in the country. Pride is being restored to the Lebanese Australian community.

In 2012, the community is challenged once more when a peaceful demonstration against a controversial anti-Islam video turns into the Sydney ‘riot’. In contrast to the Cronulla Riots, the bridge-building over the past 7 years means that the police and the Lebanese Australian community act together. Community leaders unite in condemning the violent protestors.

This is a community that has been besieged by events beyond their control for 30 years. No other migrant community in Australia has had to endure the same. But they have emerged stronger than ever with a resilience and strength that will carry them into the future.

Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is the inside story, told by those on the ground, of the succession of challenges that beset the Lebanese community, a community which is, ultimately proud and resilient.

Release date NZ
September 11th, 2014
Movie Format
  • DVD
DVD Region
  • Region 4
  • Standard Edition
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.78 : 1
Length (Minutes)
Number of Discs
Country of Production
  • Australia
  • Documentary
Original Release Year
Box Dimensions (mm)
Product ID

Customer reviews

Nobody has reviewed this product yet. You could be the first!

Write a Review

Marketplace listings

There are no Marketplace listings available for this product currently.
Already own it? Create a free listing and pay just 9% commission when it sells!

Sell Yours Here

Help & options

Filed under...