Films

Bring Behrouz home to Australia: he is one of us

There is a pivotal moment in Behrouz Boochani’s book, No Friend but the Mountains. In late August, 2013, a propeller-driven plane stands waiting on a strip on Christmas Island, to take asylum seekers to a faraway destination. Arnold Zable The Age Each man is escorted at two-minute intervals, 50 metres from a bus to the plane. They are held by the arms between two officers. At the base of the stairs, they are handed over to a second pair of officers, ... Read More »

The Invisible Man

Introduced by writer Anna Funder The extraordinary story of Behrouz Boochani, the man who won Australia’s richest literary award but remains unable to set foot in this country. ABC Australian Story The stateless refugee, who’s in detention on Manus Island, smuggled out his entire book text by text on a smuggled mobile phone. In January, No Friend But the Mountains won the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature, Born during the Iran-Iraq war and suffering persecution as a Kurd in his ... Read More »

‘Centuries of entitlement’: Emma Thompson on why she quit Lasseter film

In her resignation letter from the film Luck, the actor questions whether any company should work with disgraced film executive John Lasseter Emma Thompson The Guardian When the actor Emma Thompson left the forthcoming animated film Luck last month while it was still in production, it was done without public fanfare, and was only confirmed when film-industry publications such as Variety magazine picked up on it. Now Thompson has put herself firmly above the MeToo parapet with the publication publishing her ... Read More »

Did academia kill jazz?

Jazz seems to be experiencing a bit of a renaissance among movie directors – look no further than documentaries such as “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool,” which just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, biopics such as “Born to Be Blue,” and… Adam Gustafson The Conversation While films about jazz are everywhere, evidence suggests that fewer people are actually consuming the music, putting the genre more on par with classical music than with today’s pop artists. There are a ... Read More »

Life on Nauru’s ‘Limboland’ examined in new documentary

The frustration of asylum seekers suspended between states is laid bare in a new documentary, Limboland. David McCowen The Canberra Times Australian artist Lachlan Hinton and photojournalist Mridula Amin travelled to Nauru in September, returning with first-hand video accounts of refugees detained on the tiny pacific island. “The people that we have managed to interview are people that have never been seen or heard by the Australian public,” Hinton said. “They’re people speaking out for the first time about their ... Read More »

“Maria by Callas”… New Documentary On The Legendary Opera Singer Told Her Own Words

Time magazine called her “a woman for whom the term prima donna could have been invented” and the “undisputed queen of the world’s opera”. WYSK This weekend, the life story of Maria Callas, one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century, is coming to the big screen. Maria by Callas is the first film to present the story of the legendary Greek/American opera singer, completely in her own words. Her remarkable journey through stardom is ... Read More »

Inside torture and trauma counselling sessions on Christmas Island

For three years from 2011, social worker Poh Lin Lee worked as a trauma counsellor for the Christmas Island Torture and Trauma Service. RN – By Teresa Tan ABC She offered therapy and support to detained asylum seekers referred from the nearby detention centre, which closed this month. At her lowest, most conflicted moments she wondered who she was providing the care for. “It might be enough for someone to get through the next week or the next day, but for ... Read More »

The Karen road to Nhill

Famous for 1997 movie The Road to Nhill, the town of that name is now home to 200 Karen refugees from Myanmar. Far from dividing locals, the huge influx of newcomers – many of whom arrived traumatised, unfamiliar with western society – has brought new life to the community. Is this a model for the rest of Australia? Words by Margaret Simons Pictures by Damien Pleming SBS It’s too quiet in Kay’s Kreations flower and gift shop. There aren’t any fresh ... Read More »

Yazidi Survivor Nadia Murad, Subject Of ‘On Her Shoulders’ Documentary, Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Today it was announced that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 has been awarded to two individuals for their respective efforts “to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.” WYSK They include Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor and activist, whose powerful story is the subject of Alexandria Bombach’s award-winning 2018 documentary ‘On Her Shoulders’ (view… In announcing the equal share winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Committee wrote ... Read More »

The Australian war film Jirga is a lesson in Afghan forgiveness

It is cathartic when a war movie takes us far beyond the horror of bullets, bomb and blood into the other side of the battlefield — the emotional impact on individuals. Ehsan Azari Stanizai The Conversation The Australian production Jirga mines the depth of the heartache and guilt experienced by an Australian ex-soldier whose conscience has caught up with his participation in a night raid on a… In doing so, it moves away from run-of-the-mill cinematic depictions of this war, ... Read More »

Fresh Thinking on Autism

The documentary film “Deej” challenges us all to live inclusion. Deej, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated feature-length documentary, offers fresh perspectives on autism, inclusion, disability, and neurological diversity. Jason Tougaw Psychology Today A collaboration between Director Rob Rooy and Writer/Producer David James Savarese, the film has aired on PBS and at festivals across the country, where it has garnered numerous awards. Savarese—also known as DJ or Deej—is the primary subject of the documentary. While the film is about his experience and education as the first non-… Fresh ... Read More »

Acute Misfortune first-look review – Adam Cullen biopic is an enthralling, complex triumph

With a brilliant performance by Daniel Henshall, this hauntingly poetic film asks if we celebrate the wrong kind of people Luke Backmaster The Guardian Does Australia celebrate the wrong kind of people, and the wrong kind of art? This question bounced around my mind for days after watching Acute Misfortune – a beautifully made and intensely thoughtful portrait of the life of controversial Archibald-winning painter Adam Cullen, based on the journalist and Saturday Paper editor Erik Jensen’s wild and compelling ... Read More »

Jaimen Hudson: Wheelchair-bound filmmaker to dive with great whites in new film

His spectacular videos showcasing the southern coastline of Western Australia and the wildlife that call it home have been devoured on social media. Daile Cross WAtoday Images of dolphins frolicking in pristine waves near Esperance and a stand up paddle boarder getting up close and personal with a majestic whale are among the most well known of the images captured by Jaimen Hudson.  Around 250 million views of his videos is an impressive tally. He uses drones to make his films, ... Read More »

Path of Blood: New documentary explores jihadi extremism, radicalisation and al-Qaeda’s target, Saudi Arabia

Aimen Dean was just 19 when he pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden – until the brutal reality of mass murder led him to be flipped by the Qataris, and return to Afghanistan as a spy for MI6 Stephen Applebaum Independent In the years following 9/11, documentaries such as Restrepo and Armadillo gave us intimate and unflinching accounts of the daily lives of troops fighting the war in Afghanistan. Jonathan Hacker’s Path of Blood now offers a similar kind of insider’s eye ... Read More »

[CENSORED] was meant to celebrate freedom. Instead it exposes something darker

Sari Braithwaite watched all the scenes cut by Australian censors between 1958 and 1971. What she discovered was deeply disturbing Sari Braithwaite The Guardian n 1969 Australian government censors claimed a Swedish film playing at the Sydney film festival included an actual sex scene involving a heavily pregnant woman. The film could only play, they said, if the offending copulation were deleted. But the scene in question involved no sex whatsoever. The censors apparently couldn’t distinguish between an embrace and ... Read More »