6.8/10
697
23 user 7 critic

Australian Rules (2002)

In Prospect Bay, a remote outpost on the South Australian coast, two communities, the Goonyas and the Nungas, come together on the one field they have in common, the football field. But the... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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7 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gary 'Blacky' Black
Luke Carroll ...
Dumby Red
Lisa Flanagan ...
Clarence
...
Pickles
Simon Westaway ...
Bob Black
Celia Ireland ...
Liz Black
Kevin Harrington ...
Arks
...
Darcy
...
Pretty
Brian Torry ...
Glenn Bright
Max Fairchild ...
Big Mac
Eileen Darley ...
Shirl
Paul Simpson ...
Bar Regular
Denis Noble ...
Bar Regular
Kelton Pell ...
Tommy Red
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Storyline

In Prospect Bay, a remote outpost on the South Australian coast, two communities, the Goonyas and the Nungas, come together on the one field they have in common, the football field. But the underlying racism and class warfare threatens to make the team's greatest victories irrelevant. This holds particularly true for Blacky, a white teen who is more interested in books than sport, and his best friend, Dumby, the Aboriginal star of the team.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the award-winning novel Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 August 2002 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Afstralezikoi kanones  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$61,607 (Australia) (30 August 2002)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dumby is buried in a jumper of the Essendon Football Club. This club, based in Melbourne, is noted for its support of indigenous footballers. See more »

Goofs

The shot of Dumby in the coffin show his body laid out below the edge of the coffin. However when Blacky kisses him goodbye, Dumby's head is above the level of the coffin edge. See more »

Quotes

Gary 'Blacky' Black: Old man's Fruit and Nut?
Liz Black: Old man's Fruit and f***ing nut
See more »

Connections

Featured in Outtakes (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Strong debut feature marred by lack of consultation
11 August 2002 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

Paul Goldman's debut feature film 'australian rules' is a thought-provoking film about racism and relationships. It is an accomplished work, with beautiful but never flashy cinematography by DOP Mandy Walker (Lantana, Love Serenade) and strong performances by its cast, including Nathan Phillips as the young protagonist Blacky, Luke Carroll as his Aboriginal best mate Dumby Red, and Celia Ireland as Blacky's mother.

Sadly, the film-makers' lack of consultation with the indigenous community of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia has resulted in significant - and to my mind well-founded - criticism of the film. Based on the young adult novel 'Deadly, Unna' by Phillip Gwynne, the film is based on actual events - the deaths of two young Aboriginal youths in 1977, shot and killed by the publican of a hotel they were attempting to rob. No mention of this is made in the credits of 'australian rules'.

The film contains characters and scenes recognisable and identifiable to the families of the dead youths. Consultation with these families should have taken place from the moment the book was mooted as a film, not - as happened

  • when the film was already in production. This lack of


consultation/awareness of Aboriginal culture and its sensitivities concerning death, mars what is otherwise a good film, leaving the film-makers open to allegations of racism.

Is 'australian rules' a racist film? I don't think so. Racist characters and phrases in the film go unchallenged, yes, but hopefully audiences are intelligent enough to see the truth for themselves, without needing clumsy and obvious cinematic signposting from characters or the film-makers saying 'this is bad'.

Overall, I recommend 'australian rules' to viewers, but I wish that the film-makers had shown more respect towards our indigenous culture rather than riding roughshod over the grief of the families involved.


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