Sixteen-year-old Jamie lives with his mother, Elizabeth, and two younger brothers, Alex and Nicholas, in a housing trust home in Adelaide's northern suburbs. Their home is but one of many sun-starved houses crammed together to cater for a disenfranchised society. Jamie longs for an escape from the violence and hopelessness that surrounds him and his salvation arrives in the form of John, a charismatic man who unexpectedly comes to his aid. As John spends more and more time with Jamie's family, Elizabeth and her boys begin to experience a stability and sense of family that they have never known. John moves from the role of Jamie's protector to that of a mentor, indoctrinating Jamie into his world, a world brimming with bigotry, righteousness and malice. Like a son mimicking his father, Jamie soon begins to take on some of John's traits and beliefs as he spends more and more time with him and his select group of friends. The protection and guidance that John presents to Jamie is ... Written by
I agree with the other people who have written reviews who say that it is good to get some background on the murders as I watched this without any and was confused in parts. What is interesting is that the film makers either assumed that you would have this knowledge, or accepted that the plot would only partially be known. In that sense we really are like witnesses who aren't let in on all the facts - in a strange way keeping some of the plot details leads to the sense of claustrophobia in the film.
Snowtown is an excellent example of the genre of gritty Australian realism which includes films like The Boys and Idiot Box.
This reminded me a lot of The Boys in building tension slowly and I think the rhythm of the film was spot on. It was also similar in the sense that it suggested that poverty and a lack of opportunity lead to violence (not necessarily for Bunting but probably for the other characters). But I think this just reinforces prejudices about poverty that middle class people have.
I think that Jamie was a very good choice as a main character because he clearly had the most complex relationship with Bunting and what he was doing. As the audience we were also invited to have that relationship then
I was pretty surprised that the film only had an MA rating rather than R, particularly given the nature of the violence portrayed.
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