Movie Review – The Australian Dream

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

The Australian Dream. Image Credit: Madman.


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.

The Australian Dream. Image Credit: Madman.
It is really difficult sitting their watching what happens to Adam Goodes. Image Credit: Madman.

This 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.

The Australian Dream. Image Credit: Madman.
Stan Grant’s comment that “You’re not welcome here” cut me deeper than anything I have heard in years. Image Credit: Madman.

I 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.
– 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+

1 thought on “Movie Review – The Australian Dream

  1. An excellent film and a great summation by you. Five stars from me as well.

    Stan Grant has done himself proud with this effort. I hate prejudice in all its ugly manifestations and Grant’s work nicely covered the evil of racism as shown by the journey taken by Adam Goodes.

    Liked by 1 person

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