Random Obsession: Oceania Cinema

So this week I’ve been on a random Australian/New Zealand film kick. For the most part, films from these countries are SO, so good. When I watch movies, I search primarily for prettiness and quirkiness: I’m all about gorgeous scenery, unconventional characters and unique camera angles. My obsession started with Tracks, a recent film based on a true story about a woman who walks across Australia with camels she found and trained. The scenery in the movie is just stunning; it totally sweeps you away! This week we watched three other films that stuck with me…

1.Hunt for the Wilderpeople 

This is a newer movie created by Taika Waititi, a brilliant (and handsome…ahem) director. The movie was super cute; it follows a kid in foster care who is a total misfit/punk. The kid goes to live with an older couple, and through an exciting series of events, he finds himself running from the law and hiding out in the bush. Wilderpeople is super pretty, which is totally understandable since Wilderpeople was filmed in NZ (the prettiest place ever!) Aside from the prettiness, the movie was super funny, which is an obvious bonus. 


Also directed by Taika Waititi, Boy brought out a ton of different emotions in me. It follows a young kid who thinks the world of his deadbeat, just-out-of-jail dad, and the film explores all of the complications that come with having expectations in life. The movie has that prettiness factor thanks to, well, New Zealand. I loved the underlying message; the entire thing was sweet and touching. 

3. Rabbit-Proof Fence

Ahhhhh I have so many mixed feelings about this one! Rabbit-Proof Fence is based on the true story of a young aboriginal girl who escaped from a domestic servant training center and walked 1,000+ miles back to the remote community she was taken from in the first place (what’s with walking across Australia? Haha). Once again, the film is super pretty, and the story is really touching. The reason I have bittersweet feelings about this one is because *apparently* some details were changed to make the story more dramatic. In the movie, most of the white people are awful racists. The injustice displayed throughout the film is maddening! I’m sure that there’s truth in the movie; there’s no doubt that native people (in many countries) have been exploited by others. But I dislike the fact that, according to some students of history, the story was twisted to fit a particular narrative instead of accurately portraying this woman’s incredible story. In any case, I can’t say that I know all of the facts…my knowledge of Australian history is practically non-existent. And if I’m judging the film solely on artistic merit, it’s a stunning movie! 

What other films from Oceania do I need to see? I’m sure there are more good ones out there!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *