An Indonesian fishing boat abandons a group of Iraqi and Cambodian men on a remote part of the Western Australian coast. Told there is a bus over the dunes, the men are abandoned to a desert the size of Poland. While most are quickly rounded up, three men with little in common but their history of misfortune elude capture and begin an epic but confused journey drawn on by their hopes amplified by the empty desert. Pursued by an army reservist unit more concerned with playing ball sports and music, our three protagonists wander deeper into trouble, searching desperately among the harsh beauty of the Pilbara for evidence of a western, liberal democracy. Or the promised bus. Written by
Left to find their way over the sand dunes for a bus to Perth these wanderers have little understanding of how far they really are from a town. Such is the setting for this film looking at what it means to flee your homeland for another. Apart from the political environment, this film gives a new perspective to an old story - that of asylum seekers, refugees, queue jumpers or the myriad of loaded terms used these days to express a simple idea...fleeing a country due to crises, finding a new home or reuniting with family (father). A comic tale 'inspired by true stories' filled with moments of laughter, frustration and tears of relief. A variety of atmospheres are painted against the backdrop of the vast Australian landscape showing its beauty in the colour of the reeds and grasses, red soil and iridescent blue ocean. Three contrasting stories are told in parallel in the western desert complete with goanna and abandoned miner's hut. Sweeping views of the Australian desert landscape on the edge of the sea are like actors themselves. These stories are ripe for the telling with characters drawn in three dimensions, believable, brought to life as real people rather than stereotypes echoing our fears. This film celebrates the look of the outback, and is told with humour, sensitivity and empathy for those caught up in ordinary circumstances outside our own world view and yet closer than we think.
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