True story that created headline news in 1959. A young aboriginal man Max Stuart, was convicted of murder in the light of questionable evidence presented, of nine year old Mary Hattam near Ceduna, on the south coast of Australia. International News Media Baron, Rupert Murdoch (played by Ben Mendelsohn), then publisher of the Adelaide "News," became the driving force behind securing a re-trial for Stuart.Written by
Noel Bailey <email@example.com>
I came across this one accidentally, and I'm very glad that I did. This is very much an attempt to make an historical document - it is along the same lines as rabbit proof fence, instead focusing on the ridiculously prejudiced and stunted legal system that Australia was so proud of during the 'white Australia' policy years. Every branch of police and court were determined to hide each others mistakes and inequalities because it was simply easier to condemn our own mistakes - if it is believed that all black fellas are inherently flawed, even evil, then it is so much easier to not feel guilty about what we did.
That being said, the production values are so high in this film that one never gets the sense that it is preaching or unnecessarily hammering the audience with the all the guilt of the white man in Australia. The story came through sufficiently, and there were fascinating links to all kinds of branches of Australian life - the turn of public opinion against the death penalty, Rupert Murdoch learning the value of politics over helping out the ordinary man, the idea of 'Englishness' in the colonial nation - and best of all, a wonderful interview with the condemned man himself, still alive despite all the odds.
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