'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.
This film is fantastic. According to an interview with the producer (featured in the dvd's special features) the director essentially made the film without a crew. That is, he recorded the visuals himself, the sound, edited the film, selected the actors etc. Love it all the more for proving you don't need a world of resources to tell a great story. Also, Australians in Cannes WOO BUNYIP FUCK YA
I'm getting tired of hand-held shaky camera shots that cry out "I'm so hip!" The story could have been told just as well without moving the camera so much or having 3 shots instead of 1. The out-of-focus shots, shaky camera and non-diegetic noise (drumming? or as if someone had dropped the mike or wasn't careful about placing it) made me nauseous and I couldn't wait for the film to end.
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