Archive for the ‘Film review’ Category

Film review: 12 Years a Slave

Film: 12 Years a Slave
Director: Steve McQueen
Subject: Slavery
Why: Education

“I will survive! I will not fall into despair. I will keep myself hardy until freedom is opportune!”

The film getting a lot of Oscar nods at the moment (2014) is 12 Years a Slave. But it’s also one of the few previews I’ve been to that hasn’t been packed, and I go to a lot (shout out to Steve M. for all the tickets over the years).

But with a line like that in it why wouldn’t you want to see it? It’s inspiring, it’s uplifting, it’s got an incredible cast and beautiful Negro spirituals. So what is keeping people away? Well it’s also violent, harrowing and appalling and takes you right into the mire of human depravity with lynchings, rapes and floggings … You want to look away and crawl under the seat but you also have this unnerving feeling that you need to see this film and it could be the most important thing you see this year.

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Film review: Mystery Road

The Indigenous detective in Mystery Road, played by Aaron Pedersen.

The Indigenous detective in Mystery Road, played by Aaron Pedersen.

I saw the new Australian movie Mystery Road on Monday night. I’ve been keen to see it for some time for a number of reasons:

1. It was shot mostly around Winton (click for my gallery) and I was out there just a few weeks ago (1400km from Brisbane) and I was keen to see what was purported to be excellent cinematography of a really beautiful part of the country.

2. There were some fantastic Australian actors in the movie – Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson, Aaron Pedersen and Ryan Kwanten to name a few.

3. And most importantly for its commentary on racial tensions and the social malaise of rural communities.

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Film review: Girl Rising

Girl Rising┬áis an inspirational new film that recounts the desire and struggle of nine young girls around the world to seek an education. These girls from countries like Nepal, Peru, Haiti, Egypt, India and Afghanistan face some incredible barriers – bonded labour, extreme poverty, early marriage or even the destruction of their school after an earthquake.

Girl Rising is a kind of docudrama with powerful tales about hardship in the quest for education. It’s beautifully and cleverly shot with superb narration by actresses like Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep. More than anything you come away wondering why you ever lamented an exam, a class, or the chance to learn, but forever grateful that you’re parents didn’t sell you for the chance to buy a car or have a better life themselves.

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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - Martin Luther King Jr.