From deep in the heart of Western Australia comes a whimsical musical comedy about a potentially tragic subject: the plight of that country’s aboriginals. Rachel Perkins, from the Arrernte and Kalkadoon nations, co-wrote and directed the story of a lonely teenage boy named Willie (Rocky McKenzie) and his quest for identity, and if it’s a bit corny and reminiscent of Baz Luhrmann or Julie Taymor’s pop fantasies, we can forgive her. When the moon rises over the land and Uncle Tadpole (Ernie Dingo) goes into one of his songs, we begin to understand the town of Broome. Geoffrey Rush hams it up merrily as the killjoy Father Benedictus, and the seemingly carefree songs (by the band Kuckles and a squad of writers) have a sharp subtext. Screenplay by Reg Cribb, Jimmy Chi, and Perkins. Would make a fine double bill with Rabbit-Proof Fence (88 min.).
Director: Rachel Perkins
Producer: Graeme Isaac, Robyn Kershaw, Christopher Mapp, Matthew Street and David Whealy
Cast: Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Ernie Dingo, Geoffrey Rush, Magda Szubanski, Deborah Mailman, Missy Higgins, Tom Budge, Dan Sultan and Ningali Lawford