Critic Review - Hollywood Reporter

The most expensive Australian film ever made is rousing and passionate.

November 18, 2008 | Comments (12)
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Comments

Mosrite

Glenn Forsyth

Australia is a film that tries very hard to re write history, it fails dismally as i'm not falling for it. It's cheesy, it lies (about stolen generations, there is no evidence of any child being stolen)and Hugh Jackman looks as much like a drover as i do and believe me like 95% of all Australians i have never been to the bloody outback! It's a desert with nothing to look at and nothing to do! I cringe at the very thought of this film influencing anyone from overseas to come to Australia.

Nov 20 - 08:39 PM

getluv

D White

shintaro: the Australian government have already apologised to the Aboriginal people, by that admission alone (and the many stories, recollections by Aboriginal people, the existence of the White Australia Policy) the stolen generation did happen.

Nov 21 - 06:58 AM

Mosrite

Glenn Forsyth

Getluv, this stolen generations myth is now causing such terrible harm that it is immoral to preach it any longer without proof it is actually true. The Australian Government apologised as an election issue to make us all feel warm and fuzzy about one another, nevermind the fact that this myth has now made villains out of heroes who saved children abandoned by everyone else. There is not one scrap of evidence to suggest that this was ever any State or Territory policy and no one can name anybody who was stolen! The only thing stolen was the truth!

Nov 21 - 06:39 PM

getluv

D White

ur seriously retarded.

shove ur racist ideologies up your ***. the government apologised to acknowledge it did happen. U are also on the internet. My guess is google a few things. Hell, even wikipedia has it covered.

they took children away from their parents. in what way did they save them. that's such a racist thing to say. their culture is different.

Nov 21 - 07:42 PM

Mosrite

Glenn Forsyth

Excellent! Game over.Insults and racist slurs are always the preferred argument of people without a rational one. Getluv:
In Victoria, for instance the State Stolen Generations taskforce concluded their had been "no formal policy for removing children ever"
The Northern Territory federal court found no sign of "any policy of removal of part-aboriginal children such as alleged"
In Tasmania, the Stolen Generations alliance admitted "there was no removal policies as such"
In South Australia, the Supreme court found "no government policy for the removal of children ever"
Children were certainly saved from abandonment but stolen? where is the evidence and where are the Stolen children? No one can name anybody who was stolen without a clear explanation. People have been blamed for something that did not happen and history re written. We have apologised for what? Baz Luhrmann can tug at the heart strings all he wants, my conscience is clear. Gee it stings when i get called a racist, particularly when my best friend is Chinese, my GF is from Vietnam and i use a Japanese nick name! Getluv, if you believe everything written on WIKIPEDIA then i am convinced you believe in fairies. Not is all what it appears with governments and you will discover as you get older that lies and deceptions are all part of the political agenda. Truth is what was stolen and racism has nothing to do with the argument, my beef is this film takes more than it's usual hollywood licence with the facts.

Nov 21 - 08:32 PM

yvo84

Yves Makhoul

Shintaro, I too don't like being lied to. But the evidence that IS there only says that there was no FORMAL law in which aboriginal kids were taken.

Plenty of informal things went on, you can't deny that.

Not to mention documents found in which a plan was constructed to "breed" aboriginals into white communities so they'd quietly die off.

Or what about the complete extinction of the "woolen haired" aboriginals from Tasmania -- they no longer exist, they were slaughtered like animals. Type it into google and choose the image link -- that's the only way you'll ever see one.

Truths are bent in any political argument, but you can't argue wrongs were done and the government saw fit to apologise for this.

Nov 22 - 01:05 AM

Mosrite

Glenn Forsyth

These aren't claims.They are facts that cannot be dodged if we're honest. And so i say "stolen generations" is a myth, and a harmful one. No taskforce or federal court in any state in Australia can find any policy for the removal of any aboriginal children to be forcibly assimilated into white society. What Lurhmann has done here is to tell a story of something that unlikely didn't happen and tell an even more unlikely story about something that didn't happen at all. The harm in this is white children are robbed of their history and black children will lose faith in the only society that can help them. Woolen haired aborigines is another discussion altogether and one that may need the participation of the USA, Spain, Portugal and the British, all of whom are guilty of the genocide of Indigenous people in America, Mexico (See Cortez) South America etc.
"Most ignorance is vincible ignorance, we don't know because we don't want to know"
(Huxley). I am a rationalist, i search, i study ,i form an opinion, i am a proud Australian who lives in a wonderful country, a country with a history like any other country. I am not a fan of the re writing of Australian history for the sake of the blind faith and "faith is a belief without evidence".(Huxley)
Yes, the Prime Minister apologised, but even Mr Rudd himself cannot name one stolen child? I hear no apology coming from the US or Spanish governments for crimes far worse than the invented ones now taught in Australian schools about our own past. Baz Lurhmann has done us all a dis service with this film. I recently watched the documentary 'Lionel' the story of Lionel Rose and what struck me was the reception given to him on his return from Japan in February 1968. 200,000 white Australians cheering and applauding loudly the efforts of a 19 year old aboriginal boy from Melbourne. White Australia Policy? The people didn't believe in it that day. Australia was well ahead of the USA, who in that very same month were attempting to send Muhammad Ali to prison for not wanting to go to Vietnam!

Nov 22 - 04:08 AM

Mosrite

Glenn Forsyth

These aren't claims.They are facts that cannot be dodged if we're honest. And so i say "stolen generations" is a myth, and a harmful one. No taskforce or federal court in any state in Australia can find any policy for the removal of any aboriginal children to be forcibly assimilated into white society. What Lurhmann has done here is to tell a story of something that unlikely didn't happen and tell an even more unlikely story about something that didn't happen at all. The harm in this is white children are robbed of their history and black children will lose faith in the only society that can help them. Woolen haired aborigines is another discussion altogether and one that may need the participation of the USA, Spain, Portugal and the British, all of whom are guilty of the genocide of Indigenous people in America, Mexico (See Cortez) South America etc.
"Most ignorance is vincible ignorance, we don't know because we don't want to know"
(Huxley). I am a rationalist, i search, i study ,i form an opinion, i am a proud Australian who lives in a wonderful country, a country with a history like any other country. I am not a fan of the re writing of Australian history for the sake of the blind faith and "faith is a belief without evidence".(Huxley)
Yes, the Prime Minister apologised, but even Mr Rudd himself cannot name one stolen child? I hear no apology coming from the US or Spanish governments for crimes far worse than the invented ones now taught in Australian schools about our own past. Baz Lurhmann has done us all a dis service with this film. I recently watched the documentary 'Lionel' the story of Lionel Rose and what struck me was the reception given to him on his return from Japan in February 1968. 200,000 white Australians cheering and applauding loudly the efforts of a 19 year old aboriginal boy from Melbourne. White Australia Policy? The people didn't believe in it that day. Australia was well ahead of the USA, who in that very same month were attempting to send Muhammad Ali to prison for not wanting to go to Vietnam!

Nov 22 - 04:12 AM

jean-do

dee bam

The problem I see Shintaro is the same one I've seen in my Australian relatives, the inability to ever face up to the racism perpertruated by your country. There is a formal amendment, the Aborigines Protection Amendment Act of 1915 on the books of Australia that allowed the government to take Aboriginal children from their parents without having to prove neglect. The Rabbit Proof fence is a true story written by the daughter of a mother who was stolen from her parents.

Denying that Australia has not mistreated the Aborigines is not facing reality. I lived in Australia and saw them under the bridges. I saw the government go into their settlements and bulldoze them down. I never saw them working, never saw them in schools, theatres, balls, trams. You wouldn't even have a Vietnamese or Chinese friend if the White Supremacy Act hadn't been repealed in the 1970s. Yes, before that only whites could immigrant to Australia. To deny your history doesn't solve your problems.

Americans haven't denied that there wasn't slavery or that blacks have been mistreated and held down for generations. We've manned up and faced what we've done to them and you should do the same. We voted in a black president for chrissakes, how many aborigines do you have in parliament? Baz Luhrman shedding a light on it now is a presentation of your history--own it, pull up your big boy pants and be responsible and make sure that it never happens in your country again but sticking your head in the sand and pretending it never happened or that you don't have any racism in Australia is a kick in the teeth to the many Aborigines, the original Australians. Do something about it. Put some in your parliament, hire them, check into their housing. There is no shame in accepting responsibility for your history and correcting it, there is, however, in denying it.

Nov 29 - 11:09 AM

Mosrite

Glenn Forsyth

Jean-do, i would gladly pull up my pants if there was any shred of evidence to suggest i do so. Even Molly Craig herself has stated that Rabbit Proof Fence is not my story. The inaccuracies in this movie extraordinary. Nobody is denying History here, but you cannot just re write it as you go along, you are wrong about the Vietnamese and Chinese immigration. My best friend and his family are Chinese, who i met in 1965 at age 6. I still know them today and am proud to say so. There is nothing to correct in our history, mistakes have been made like all countries have made but until one person can be named and proven to be stolen then i am still very comfortable with our history. As i stated and this is fact not the fiction of Baz Lurhmann, no Federal court has found any evidence of any policy to remove aboriginal children at any time. I would agree with you if there was any shred of truth to what you say, there isn't. The truth has been stolen in Austrlaia not any children.
I wonder if Lurhmann consulted with Nicole Kidman about her adopted children of colour and asked if they were stolen or did Kidman save them? I wonder the same thing about Madonna and Angelina Jolie ? Have these children been taken or saved? When stating these facts it is easy for the opposing argument to play the race card, i am not racist but i am a rationalist.

Nov 29 - 09:18 PM

jean-do

dee bam

Does not surprise me that you keep denying it as that is the Aussie way. Australia has political parties dedicated to keeping a lid on Australia's dirty little secret of racism. The "darkies" as Aussies call them are perfect victims in that they are peaceful, spiritual people that haven't fought back against the injustices perpetruated on them. So Baz makes a movie set in the 1940s with some scenes about the treatment of Aboriginal children and people and now Baz is a bad Australian, lying and spreading rumors about Australian history. Touched a nerve did he? Seems like he did for so many Aussies now to be screaming from the rafters that they don't have nor ever had racism in their country.

I lived there, witnessed it, believe it. I saw the denial when I would try to bring it up, sweep it under the rug, don't be talking about it, deny, deny, deny. Revisionist history is pretending that it didn't happen, isn't happenning. Exposing the light on the dark places in your country will only hurt it if you continue to deny it exists.

Nov 30 - 09:24 AM

Mosrite

Glenn Forsyth

Jean-do, i do appreciate your passion for this but having lived in Australia for a short time i can assure you as someone who has lived here all my life that the real problem with our Prime Minister's apology is he failed in his duty to the truth, and to the aboriginal children who will suffer because of these lies. Because they will suffer. Already we read frequently of aboriginal children who are bashed, raped, mistreated and even killed by their own walk away families because social workers and magistrates are to scared to by the "stolen Generations" to assist them. These are the same magistrates that could not find any evidence of any policy of removal of children to be assimilated as 'white'. Why did we say sorry to Molly Craig portrayed in the film Rabbit Proof Fence as a stolen girl to breed out colour? Molly was in fact taken into care with the agreement of her tribal chief after warnings that she was in danger of sexual abuse and had been ostracised as a half caste by her tribe! You can make accusations all you like, but show me the evidence, read the posts above again, no one can find any of these people who have been stolen. Where are they and who are they? The only thing i can find that is stolen is the truth, but if that doesn't matter then let's all look forward to 'Australia 2'

Nov 30 - 03:10 PM

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile