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...
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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.
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 »
The sign on the door seen when Blacky's dad is looking for the burglars has the text, 'LEH Lounge'. This is an indication of the shooting location, the Lord Exmouth Hotel. Although secondhand fittings and fixtures are used in community facilities in small Australian communities, it unlikely that the Prospect Bay Hotel would have used a secondhand door. See more »
Australia Rules begins like most sports movies. We follow a ramshackled team of underdogs as they prepare to play in the final of an Australian football match. However, the film quickly becomes a race drama showing the conflict in the team between the white and superior Aboriginal players, which manifests itself on the whole small town. We follow Blackie, played charismatic by Gary Black, whose best friend is Aborigine Dunby Red, the team's star player.
The film's topics are handled well, without dipping into cliché. The pacing of the film is excellent, showing how racial conflicts can escalate. However, the third act of the film lets it down. The film seems to be building to the race problem exploding, but instead fizzles out. The lack of conclusion is frustrating, although realistic.
The main problem is not so much that the film is bad. It's not. It just feels like it is going over similar ground to many films before. While always being enjoyable, it is never gripping. The direction by Goldman, particularly in the sports scenes, is very perfunctory.
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