Wednesday, 16 May 2018

May 17

A very light-on week from me, after a lot of movie overload. But the one I have reviewed is a beauty! It's Aussie genre film-making at its best and is definitely worth seeing. 

Director: Yolanda Ramking & Ben Howling
Length: 105 min
© Transmission - A post-apocalyptic world creates 
a possible opportunity for reconciliation 
between white and black. 
In a post-apocalyptic Australia, father Andy (Martin Freeman), and his wife Kay (Susie Porter) are holed up on a riverboat, with their baby daughter Rosie. The goal is to survive and evade the "virals", people who have been infected with a zombie-like virus, and roam the land in search of meat. When Andy becomes the sole carer of Rosie, he is desperate to get her to safety. He meets Thoomi (Simone Landers), an Indigenous girl who is searching for the Cleverman (David Gulpillil), to save the soul of her infected father. Implications are that maybe only the Indigenous people are capable of surviving the curse that has ravaged the country. Before you wail "oh no, not another zombie movie", let me say this is one of the best pieces of genre film-making I've seen in a long time. It cleverly creates the sense of fear and dread from the outset, then gradually weaves in Indigenous themes, challenging the audience to consider the whole question of black versus white society, tradition vs modernity, and possibly the idea that the "virals" are  a metaphor for dire problems within Australian society. Perhaps they are even punishment for white treatment of black Australia. The stunning and austere South Australian landscape used to splendid effect. Performances from Freeman, Landers, and Anthony Hayes as Vic, a not-so-nice survivor, are uniformly strong. Tension never lets up, but the whole is tempered with deep compassion and an ultimately very moving denouement. 
4.5 - wholeheartedly recommended!

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