Dr. Ann Finegan
FT345: Australian Cinema
8 February 2013
Question 2: Luhrmann’s Australia and Perkins’ Bran Nue Dae could be said to approach the apology to the Stolen Generations from different perspective. Discuss with reference to style.
Director Baz Luhrmann and Director Rachel Perkins both addressed Australia’s cruel and racist history and the aboriginal’s Stolen Generation in Australia and Bran Nue Dae, respectively. Both films follow the lead of Australian government and made an effort to apologize the Stolen Generation. Unfortunately, neither Australia nor Bran Nue Dae was entirely effective in their apology to the Stolen Generation. While they both had good intentions, those intentions were not successfully executed. Both film show promise and realize some of their goals, they still fall short in many aspects. It’s argued that Australia was “fraudulent and misleading” (Greer) while Bran Nue Dae “makes light of [the]…mistreatment of Aboriginal people.” (Howell) Luhrmann’s film Australia approaches the apology to the Stolen Generation through drama and romance. The film is about an English aristocrat who inherits a ranch and the cattle driver who helps her protect her property from English cattle barons. Australia demonstrates some of the hardships that the Aboriginal people had to face during the World War I era in Australia. However, Germaine Greer claims that Australia “bears more relation to fairytale than fact.” Greer goes on to say that “the fantasy is designed to promote the current government policy of reconciliation.” The fallacies and myths portrayed in the film truly hinders Luhrmann’s attempt at the apology to the Stolen Generation. While Luhrmann makes a substantial effort at the apology, she seemingly looks at Australia’s hard past through rose-colored glasses. She over exaggerates the kindness and openness that Drover and Lady Sarah would have toward the Aboriginal people during this time. These softer...
Bibliography: Greer, Germaine. “Once upon a time in a land, far, far away.” Rev. of Australia. Dir. Baz Luhrmann. The Guardian 15 December 2008.
Howell, Peter. “Bran Nue Dae: Tie me dancing fool down, sport.” Rev. of Bran Nue Dae, Dir. Rachel Perkins. Toronto Star 23 September 2010.
Nilsen, Richard. “Bran Nue Dae” Rev. of Bran Nue Dae. Dir. Rachel Perkins. The Arizona Republic 23 September 2010
O’Sullivan, Michael. “A musical romp to nowhere.” Rev. of Bran Nue Dae. Dir. Rachel Perkins. The Washington Post 10 September 2010.
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