This film is an achingly beautiful Australian story that I hope all Australians see.It tells the story of an Aboriginal community in all of its daily life and daily struggles. The film is a junction point in the life of Daniel. His family life is dominated by parents using alcohol and drugs, a family life that has been destroyed by the removal of children from their families. School is a daily struggle. He develops a friendship with the local drug dealers and the film is about the story that unfolds from there.
The film is important because it weaves a personal story of a community into the wider indigenous Australian story. The themes that this film is dealing with are immense yet at no time do they overwhelm the film. Themes of loss of language, cultural identity, substance abuse, education, the high suicide rate and incarceration of Aboriginal people in Australia are all deftly woven into the story without you even realising.
The director Ivan Sen is a marvel - to have extracted the performances that he has from the residents of Toomelah is simply extraordinary. In speaking about the film he revealed that Daniel was never present during any of the traumatic scenes. Furthermore he revealed how he spent time in Toomelah before writing the film and that almost all of the dialogue is taken from conversations he heard while he was there. Writing the film was about putting a structure to the film and weaving the dialogue into place.
While to many of us the community of Toomelah may be confronting, as Ivan Sen the director pointed out that this is very much in the perception of the viewer. Toomelah is also a place of great beauty. Ultimately it painted a real picture of the despair of these communities because of the lack of hope and opportunities. The film, for me, was all about what does the future hold for a young boy growing up on an Aboriginal community. In this sense the film is both bleak while offering a gleam of hope....
I highly recommend this film, get out and see it whenever you can.
Crime / Drama
Crime / Drama
In a remote Aboriginal community, 10 year old Daniel yearns to be a gangster, like the male role models in his life. Skipping school, getting into fights and running drugs for Linden, who leads the main gang in town.
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April 26, 2018 at 08:11 PM