6.2/10
245
4 user 9 critic

Toomelah (2011)

In a remote Aboriginal community, 10 year old Daniel yearns to be a gangster, like the male role models in his life. Skipping school, getting into fights and running drugs for Linden, who leads the main gang in town.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Daniel
Christopher Edwards ...
Linden
Michael Connors ...
Buster
Dorothy Cubby
Dean Daley-Jones ...
Bruce
Alex Haines
Linden Binge
Aunty Sharon Binge
Aunty Margery Binge
Uncle Lloyd Hippi
Tyericq Tavo
...
(as Danieka Connors)
Lauren McGrady
Kevin Binge
Elaine Edwards ...
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Storyline

In a remote Aboriginal community, 10 year old Daniel yearns to be a gangster, like the male role models in his life. Skipping school, getting into fights and running drugs for Linden, who leads the main gang in town.

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Crime | Drama

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13 May 2011 (France)  »

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(HD)
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2011 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bunyip
Written by Cedric McGrady
Performed by Christopher Edwards
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User Reviews

A story of alienation, violence and hope
30 October 2011 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

Toomelah used to be a mission for aboriginal Australians. In the far north of the State of New South Wales, it was too far away to attract any attention from the state capital, Sydney, although it was right on the border of Queensland. Not until a community nurse resigned after exposing the abuse of children was any help offered, when the Australian government started an "intervention". Housing, sewerage and water supply were improved. To-day, the location of this film is still an aboriginal settlement. Its people are keen on education for their children, but substance abuse remains a problem.

Ivan Sen, who had been brought up here, walked the 15 Kilometres from the nearest town, Boggabilla. This is rich agricultural country, with cotton cropping. Sen's movie (yes, he does the script, the filming, the music) ignores the wealth of this sub-tropical demi-paradise. Poverty and neglect are apparent. Young Daniel carries the picture with very little to say. He is the observer, the cadet druggie. His father is alienated, devoted to methylated spirit. His mother tries half-heartedly to get him to go to school, but his disruptions force his expulsion. His Nan is his only consolation. He tries to relate to a visiting aunt, but she lives in the past. A violent episode, triggered by Daniel, brings resolution and redemption and hope.

This movie is well worth a look. The music is good. Sen is "handy" with the camera. I think perhaps that he could have used a tripod and a focus-puller. Sen edited the film himself. A few more seconds of cutting would improve it.


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