Monday, December 1, 2008

Australia not-so-fair and the noble aboriginal

i was pretty excited to see australia last night. it's by one of my fav directors, baz luhrmann, and stars nicole kidman. that went well in moulin rouge, so i had high hopes. rumour has it luhrmann has compared it to titanic.

and he's right! like that big, bulky boat, australia sails out to sea, flounders, and sinks below the surface. i was reviewing it for my column in the weekly news.

there are aboriginals in prominent roles in australia, but apart from the mixed-race boy, they hardly speak. strangest is 'king george,' the name given to the boy's grandfather (played by david gulpilil). most of the time, he's standing like a flamingo or dancing on top of a rock. he rarely speaks and when he does, it's in mystical tones. he's a wiseman who repeatedly leads our heroes out of danger's way. the boy, brandon walters, is also superb, and also generally depicted as a super-spiritual being.

we see the same thing here in canada all the time - people who are aboriginal depicted as having special spiritual knowledge lost on other folks. why? no doubt there are spiritually gifted aboriginals, just as there are in any race/culture. i have an idea that it's because aboriginals are blocked out of secular power roles (in movies and in real life) and are given the spiritual ones as a sop.

hey australia! next time you have a hundred million dollars to blow, let king george speak.


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