Paul Williams’ must-see documentary about the late, great musician does justice to a life lived between two worlds
In a scene in the Shawshank Redemption, Red (Morgan Freeman) contemplates the sound of Mozart: “I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it.”
Those words returned to me while watching the writer/director Paul Williams’ new documentary about the late, great Indigenous Australian musician Gurrumul Yunupingu. How could a documentary possibly do justice to a voice like that? Against the odds, perhaps, the film succeeds: a rich, dense, stirring and soulful work, laced with footage of many of his performances, from jamming at home to playing in front of adoring concert crowds.
Asio Makes a Movie shows footage gathered by undercover agents of suspected enemies of the state, including Faith Bandler
In the early 1950s, as acute cold war paranoia about possible communist infiltration began dominating Australian politics, the next generation of Indigenous activists took their equality fight to Europe.
And not just anywhere in Europe. On 7 June 1951, a 21-year-old Aboriginal man, Ray Peckham, and another increasingly prominent Indigenous activist, Faith Bandler, 32, were due to set sail from Melbourne to the World Youth Festival for Peace in Soviet-controlled East Berlin.
Half a century after novel depicted tragedy at Hanging Rock, updated film and theatre versions shed new light
In the searing heat of an Australian Valentine’s Day, a small party of schoolgirls set out for a local beauty spot, Hanging Rock. Some were never to return. The shocking incident, whether imagined or real, as some still believe, has haunted the national psyche ever since the publication of Joan Lindsay’s novel Picnic at Hanging Rock in 1967.
Regarded as a key work of modern Australian literature, Lindsay’s hypnotic puzzle soon spawned a classic film version that was to beguile and disturb audiences around the world.