IS “AUSTRALIAN RULES” OUT OF BOUNDS?

Asking whether Luke Carroll or Lisa Flannagan, who are the two Aboriginal leads of the film, were subject to the most anger meets with a considered response. “Not so much me, I think Lisa had a hard time dealing with it because it’s her community. A lot of things were directed at her during that first meeting. So I felt for her strongly, she wanted to make this film. She believed in it, we all did. She wanted to make it for her kids,” he says, obviously affected.
“So going away from that meeting I started to question myself. I didn’t want to offend anybody making any film, especially my own people. So I went around really questioning the reasons for making this film.”
Still being a young bloke, Luke admits to seeking advice from his mum and from veteran Aboriginal actors, such as Kelton Pell (“One Night The Moon”) who also features in the film. “They believed the film should be made and they were behind Paul (Goldman, the director) and Mark (Lazarus, the producer) and they believed in what they wanted to achieve with the film. It was reassuring to know their opinion and it reassured me to stick with the film and keep the faith in it.”
It’s a film that reflects a contemporary Australia that’s unfortunately still burdened by the yolk of age-old oppression. The cast, despite their youthful enthusiasm and optimism, understand the weight of the issues that the film tries to explore. “I’d have to say that’s the reason I want to act now and keep doing what I’m doing,” says Phillips. “I think it’ll make a lot of people aware of a lot of issues that have been swept under the carpet, or issues that people are unsure of how to talk about. I’m just so proud of being a part of a film that will hopefully break ground and break stereotypes and just fuckin’ help Australia along, ya know.”
“It’s amazing and it’s good that it’s not just crappy Australian comedies to provide us with a brief laugh,” agrees Budge. “They’re actually stories about things that are really going on and it seems like people are actually listening, thank God. This stuff is really happening every day and there’s injustice towards Aboriginal people every day and it’s so . . . on that day we went out to the community, I remember riding back and talking about how this film is bigger than any of us, and we were just sitting there thinking this is a huge thing we’re doing and it’s going to be so positive for this country.”
Luke Carroll, reflecting on the number of films we’ve seen this year that have had Aboriginal representation, says, “I think it’s showing that people are willing to listen and it’s a step forward toward reconciliation. Showing feature films of Indigenous content is a step forward, working together and bridging that gap. I think it’s great.”




Posted on November 14, 2002 in Interviews by
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