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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'What can I be?' Apt words spoken by a young boy growing up on a reservation in Northern Australia who is just starting to realize the futility of his encroaching adulthood even as he emulates the behaviour of the local gangsters. Film is unfortunately undone by the amateurish acting (by non-professional Toomelah locals) despite the wonderful casting of lead Daniel Conners who gives a genuine turn throughout.
Sen succeeds here in conveying possibly the most astute example of the long term effects on contemporary aboriginal displacement post stolen generation that I've seen. He focuses on a young boy's search for meaning, role models and belonging within his community that is both touching and fearlessly honest without resorting to overt violence and negativity. 4 stars
A film I've completely fallen for, it is so itself. Truth set before you, dragging your heart into the earth, shooting beauty straight through you. It really was a balm, a clear reminder, an inspiration.