TL;DR – The Australian Dream is a film that I think every Australian should watch because it holds up a mirror to Australian society and we need to be ready for what it shows.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
I thought when I sat down to see The Australian Dream that I was ready for what I was going to see. I was a fool. This might be the most important film I have seen all year because it shines the light on an episode that many in Australia feel more than content to sweep under the rug because to do otherwise would mean confronting our history, our way of life, and our commitment to all Australians.
At its core The Australian Dream tells the story of Adam Goodes former Australian of the Year and one of the best Australian Rules Footballers (AFL) to have ever played the game. It is the story of his life, the highs and the lows. However, it is something more than that, it is using the biography to focus in on a problem Australia has had for the last two-hundred odd years and that is how it has dealt with its Indigenous people and well there is a reason that Indigenous Australians call Australia Day, Invasion Day.
was a really difficult film to watch at times because it does not hold back on
the frank discussion of what happened to Adam, the effect that had on the Indigenous
community, and also how it reflects on the history of Indigenous Australia as a
whole. When I was growing up Australian history started with Captain Cook and
then the First Fleet with only some casual references to the people that came
before. The only time we ever explored issues affecting Indigenous Australia
was when I was tasked with creating a new Dreamtime story for a piece of
assessment which these days when I think back to it, yikes. I grew up in the
generation that knew what the Stolen Generation was but not what it meant, not
the lasting trauma.
Here we see the full weight of that inter-generational trauma writ large in one phrase that should cut every Australian to the core “You’re not welcome here”. We see that played out in the aftermath of a person calling Adam a deeply offensive racist taunt on Indigenous week of all weeks. Commentators like Andrew Bolt hide their critiques behind the fact that she was a young girl, even though Adam constantly said that she was a symptom of a problem and it is the Australian community at large that needs to work this out, and also that maybe Andrew Bolt might be a bit hypocritical in this regard. It is the kind of film where Sam Newman in blackface is only the opening comment on the situation, not the end of it like what should happen if Australia truly was the country we pretend to be.
think it would be hard for anyone to sit down and watch a country go out of its
way to emotionally destroy one of their leading sporting stars, let alone what
it would have been like to experience it. The film moves from one heart-breaking
moment to the next as Indigenous sporting stars explore their stories of abuse
and trauma. The pain for me comes from the fact that I am a 1st-generation
Australia, my mother came out to here on a boat, to the point where I would
need to do some legwork if I ever wanted to run for Parliament, and not once in
my life has my Australianess being subject to debate. But people that lived in
what is now Australia for tens of thousands of years constantly have to prove
that there are Australian. It was a splash of ice-cold water to my face and a
warning to not be a complacent bystander as all those who said nothing about
the booing were.
In the end, The Australian Dream? 100% I do. This might be one the most important films I have ever seen. It cuts to the core of the veneer that we put up as Australians, the hand waving we do about our past, and the stumbling blocks we continue to use to stop us having a better future. This is a film that all Australians need to watch because this is not an issue that has gone away.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow
Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV,
he’ll be talking about International Relations,
or the Solar System.
Have you watched The Australian Dream?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Australian Dream
Directed by – Daniel Gordon
Written by – Stan Grant
Music by – Cornel Wilczek
Cinematography by – Dylan River
Edited by – Matt Wyllie
Production/Distribution Companies – GoodThing Productions, Lorton Entertainment, Passion Pictures, Film Victoria, Screen Australia & Madman.
Starring – Adam Goodes, Stan Grant, Michael O’Loughlin, Brett Goodes, Natalie Goodes, Tracey Holmes, Nova Peris, Nicky Winmar, Gilbert McAdam, Linda Burney, Paul Roos, John Longmire & Nathan Buckley with Eddie McGuire & Andrew Bolt
Rating – Australia: MA15+