[20020045] Shedding Light – Australian Rules

Shedding Light – Australian Rules

@ Her Majesty’s Theatre

10:30am, Wed 6 Mar 2002

Score: 8

Short Review: Gamut of Emotions

Another flick in the “F5” sub-Festival, “Australian Rules” (IMDB reference) is based on Phillip Gwynne’s book, “Deadly, Unna?”. It tracks the tensions within the (fictitious) South Australian town of Prospect Bay, which uses football as the common denominator between the Aboriginal and white communities – and ultimately fractures the soul of the town.

Seen purely as a film, this is a wonderful achievement. First-time director Paul Goldman does a terrific job, and the cast is almost faultless. The plot does contain the odd cliche, but doesn’t suffer. Best of all, the film forces the watcher to run the whole gamut of emotions. Great stuff.

However, during the following Q&A session with the production team & actors, it became evident that a certain amount of controversy has dogged this movie. Since I’ve had my head buried in the sand lately, I asked a neighbour what the fuss was about, and was told that a few events involving Aboriginals in the film had been a little too close to recent real-life events, and that the consulted Aboriginal communities had objected to their inclusion in the film. (The same person also complained that the movie strayed from the book, adding in a love story).

Well, ignoramus me being, I can’t comment either way on those issues. Still, great movie.

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