How the Film Australia Reinforces Traditional War Themes

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Many films based upon a historical event exhibits accuracy on ideas of cultural identity. Baz Luhrmann controversial film Australia is based on two historical moments in Australian history, the Darwin bombings and the Stolen Generation. Aimed at an international audience, the film incorporates both events in two different story lines. For decades, people have come to understand what Australia’s true notions of identity are. Australia reinforces these traditional concepts of a fighting spirit, mateship, upholding of beliefs, the Indigenous heritage, Australian ‘outback/bush’ and their egotistic behaviour through the use of some of the many filmic codes and conventions including camera angles, audio and symbolism. Characters such as the Drover in Australia display similar qualities to Australian men, such as their fighting back spirit. The Drover’s theme song helps the viewer to understand the type of a character he is in the film. Australian viewers would immediately come to realise his resemblance to a bushman. The theme song’s upbeat and lively tune enters the film mostly when the Drover does a heroic act, for instance when he successfully droves the cattle. Another example of his fighting spirit is near the end when he believes Lady Ashley is dead. Putting aside his personal issues, he attempts to save the Aboriginal children left on the mission. “I’m going to get these fellas off the island.” Technical codes assist in the idea of fighting back in the film as the camera angles capture the war scenes between the Australians and the Japanese. Aerial shots not only acquire the scenery of destruction but also the battle of the Australians defending their country with honour. These particular scenes represent Australian courage and their fighting spirit that all the diggers needed whilst fighting the Japanese out of Australia in 1941. Symbolism can assists in understanding the mateship between certain characters of the film. Sacrificing his life for the Indigenous...
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