Jasper Jones (2017)

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This is a warm and sensitive adaptation by director Rachel Perkins of Craig Silvey’s excellent Australian novel of the same name. The film aims squarely at a mainstream and younger audience than the book, pulling its punches to just touch on the themes of racism and abuse that are central to the story of Charlie Bucktin’s awakening from childhood innocence in the rural town of Corrigan in the 1960s. Continue reading

Collisions (2015)

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Image via collisionsvr.com

Virtual Reality is cool. Not technically great yet but it is impossible not to be personally and emotionally engaged with a genuine story when you are suddenly within arm’s reach of the story teller. Collisions is a small and resounding tale, a conversation with Nyarri Nyarri Morgan, a Martu man director Lynette Wallworth met in the Pilbara. Continue reading

Embrace of the Serpent (El Abrazo de la Serpiente) (2015)

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Image via embraceoftheserpent.oscilloscope.net

I recommend seeing a film you know nothing about on a Sunday morning. I was the only person in one of Nova’s subterranean cinemas for this black and white Colombian journey into the Amazon and a history of cultural decimation. There are two overlapping stories, both of white scientists on a search for a rare healing plant, guided through the jungle by loner Karamakate and separated by 30 years. Continue reading

Servant or Slave (2016)

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SERVANT-OR-SLAVE--3Here is one of my biases; I like to hear the stories of Aboriginal women. I was aware of it as I sat down to watch this hour-long documentary about the stolen wages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the past century. As the notes of a simple gospel song played and the first of a handful of beautiful, resilient Aboriginal women began to speak, I could feel my heart swell and the first prick of tears, because this is a sad, sad story. Continue reading

Mahana (The Patriarch) (2016)

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MAHANA-1Lee Tamahori, who directed Once Were Warriors, brings Temuera Morrison back to the screen, this time in a family-friendly poignant tale of patriarchy, set in 1950s rural New Zealand and based on a novel by Whale Rider author, Witi Ihimaera. The warm tones, beautiful rendering of the rural life of the time and great characters make this an enjoyable and thought-provoking tale. Continue reading

Putuparri and the Rainmakers (2015)

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I’ve seen a few films in the past two weeks that have changed my view on something or at least given me a profound insight. This Australian documentary joins those ranks. I mentioned that Don’t Tell Me the Boy Was Mad made me think of the displacement of Australian Aboriginal people and this commonality has been reinforced by today’s film, Putuparri and the Rainmakers. Continue reading