I went because I felt morally obligated to do so living as I am in Darwin and seeing on a daily basis the sheer brutal dispossesed nothingness of the majority of aboriginal people I encounter on the streets and on public transport.
The level of scarred mishapen malnourished human misery to be seen here in Darwin is actually several levels below the Indian begger castes I’ve seen in India. And I’ve never seen anywhere else in slums of Asia the almost shapeless faces of some of the aboriginal women here, shapeless due to a lifetime’s accumulation of scars and bruises.
So, I knew I wasnt going to enjoy this film.
I knew I wasnt going to learn anything that I havent already read about or seen. I feared it was going to be yet another example of a bleeding heart liberal film-maker showing exactly how bad life is and pulling every emotional string possible but lacking any attempt whatsoever in proposing a solution.
I felt it was going to be an excuse for middle-class people with too much education to feel guilty about the whole situation, talk about it, write in blogs about it and do precisely nothing.
At about the time when the young girl gets run over by a car after having been raped, I almost got up and left. The only stereotype left by that stage was for the petrol-sniffing boy to get rounded up by the cops and hanging himself in the cell.
But I stayed and was glad I did because the movie actually ended on a high(er) note that wasnt a cliche.
There were no solutions. These kind of movies never have the courage to go that far. But I did read one thing in the final slightly uplifting scene showing the sheer resilience of the characters – something that the film-maker/writer probably did not intend .
It’s never going to end. The capacity for humans to suffer is almost endless and when they eventually die miserable deaths – there’s always the next generation.