Under A Different Star is a story of real people facing questions of perverse political ideology, unspeakable cruelty, fractured families and cultural dislocation.
Germany, 1940, and Anita Gallo is trapped by the Third Reich and her influential family. With his family decimated and pursued by the Nazis, Franz-Theo finds temporary refuge as a photographer in Aachen where he attends a language class. Despite differences in age and circumstance they find a common sense of destiny and attempt to escape the challenges of family and the threat of war, caught between Gestapo hunters and Allied bombing. Can they escape to Switzerland or will they cross the world to Australia, when all is lost, to begin a new life?
Out of the ashes of Germany’s War, the young Michael Metzger came with his parents to Australia, strangers in a strange land. On the windswept cliffs of Phillip Island’s Summerland, with the boom of the ocean breakers below and the guttural calls of penguins at night, there grew a love of wilderness and questions about family dislocation and his place in the world. He escaped into a realm of books and writing – history, religion, art, philosophy – generating a search for roots and meaning. While loss and grief come in many forms, writing for him has always distilled and clarified stories of hope and great courage. This is his parents’ story that matters deeply to him, but one that also belongs to others.
While survival comes at a cost, redemption may well come in the transformative power of place.