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A mild-mannered English conscientious objector moves to what he feels will be the relative calm of Australia after World War I, but gets caught in the middle of violent battles between the rising trade unions and fascist groups.
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A Mad Max-esque post apocalyptic world provides the backdrop for a brutal, futuristic game resembling football. Rutger Hauer plays a disgraced former star leading a rag tag group of "... See full summary »
This film appears to be really quite little seen, which is a crying shame. I only saw it because it shows at least weekly on one of the Sky film channels and I looked it up hear after recalling that it gets a mention in the Radio Times Science Fiction Encyclopedia. This isn't a sci fi film as such but it is great and it seems weird that it has so few reviews and no external reviews. I guess the behind the scenes chicanery that one of the other reviewers mentions is a factor. Anyways this is a film about the impact of totalitarian measures introduced by the Australian government to quell civic unrest (riots and such). These measure of course crush civil liberties and create more and more tension in a spiral of problems mounting throughout the film until the film becomes true to its title. It would be just like a whole bunch of dystopian future films but this sets itself apart. For one the film concentrates mostly on women and how they cope, distancing itself from the macho shenanigans of Mad Max and its ilk. Not just that but the women are all pretty well drawn characters, sympathetic, nicely shaded generally quite believable. Its nice to see a film like this with a more female focus and to its credit, most of the menfolk are written equally well with only a few out and out evil characters for the audience to hiss at. Its well acted too, with good performances by the likes of Lorna Lesley, Helen Jones and Robyn Nevin. The film is admirably solemn and sober throughout which means that it can pack a real emotional punch at times and raise some pretty tight suspense too. The photography is frequently superb, the locations are beautiful and the film makes really good use of them. Even at slower moments the film is just a joy to watch, rich in dusty, heady atmosphere. The action is well handled by director Hugh Keays Byrne (Toe-cutter from Mad Max) with great use of stylish slow motion to add visual interest and clout. Its really a darn shame he hasn't directed anything else. Pretty well the only complaint I have with this one is that there is that the film could have done with more action sequences and importantly a longer climax, for this is a film that will surely disappoint those looking for escapist fun with lots of battling against a nasty government. This is more a creepy nightmare of ordinary folk being pushed to breaking by power abusing authorities and the fighting back only takes up a small part. Still, I really enjoyed this film, its gripping, powerful and looks wonderful. Highly recommended if you can find it.
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