This is in fact a review on another review of the film ‘Australia’, written by Mahjid Heath and published on ABC Australia Indigenous here: http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/stories/s2443697.htm. As someone not from Australia but who was deeply interested in the country as a young teenager reading National Geographic magazines and also as an indigenous ‘brownie’ from another part of the world, and who has similar experiences and is aware of the problems and issues arising out of the settlement of white people to indigenous lands, I find that this critique has simply ‘over analyzed’ the film. It is the unhappy state of mind that intellectuals sometimes suffer when they read far too much into a simple and straightforward affair than even exists within the actual context.
Other stories of the ‘Stolen Generations’ will follow and in no practical way, can those be contained in one film; it is the introduction to them that is meaningful and will be remembered. It is mysterious why the author is upset at the ‘black-faced’ make-up of Ursula, except only to say that it was over-done, there can be no embarrassment at the fact of ‘blackness’. How can this be offensive at all? The author ceases to make any sense at all. Is the author seeing too much meaning where there none of the sort? Despite the film’s impracticality in certain areas and the usual over-done Hollywood must-have-romance, this film will certainly remain in memory for a long time to come. This story – the story line of ‘Australia’, cannot contain all stories, but its plot has actually succeeded in hinting at other stories – there should have been no more – that is for others to tell hereafter. i. e., one story that binds many others is that of the connection between mankind of all sexes and races, earth and the elements and the methods with which each tribe or people has survived and carved its way – in the landscape, in history, and in and out of our hearts.
Australia has succeeded in doing this by far and has certainly introduced the burning interest to explore the other stories of this large continent and its people.To say that the film “conveniently covers up the exploitation of Indigenous Australians ..etc etc..” illustrates that the author is a true cynic and has little hope; making excuses for this behaviour with convenient displays of intimate knowledge of the history of Australia. Who is he really trying to impress?Kidman’s comedic performance was exquisitely nuanced and exceptional and it has far increased my overall respect and regard for her as one of the finest actresses. Brandon Walters, with the progression of the film, made you love him as a mother would a child and you believe that he will go ‘places’ thereafter. Ursula could improve her performance for acting on film – she seemed to have the exaggerations of one who performed in theatre.
Our Rating: 3 Stars