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MOVIE: TERROR NULLIUS (as part of Revelation Film Festival 2018)

| 19 July 2018 | Reply

MOVIE: TERROR NULLIUS (as part of Revelation Film Festival 2018)
Written & Directed by Soda Jerk
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
9 ½ /10

To call the Soda Jerk collective’s radical mashup of modern Australian film a rogue “unwriting of Australian national mythology” is to only tell part of the story.

Literally hundreds of scenes from TV and movies have been bastardised, manipulated and thrust together, all these pop culture icons now telling a far darker fable than ever before. This is the Australia of casual racism, overt misogyny and homophobia. A national identity where the fate of a handful of fictional schoolgirls at Hanging Rock over a century ago is more important to most of the population than the shameful plight of our own indigenous people.

Soda Jerk (led by sisters Dan and Dominique Angeloro) received a $100,000 grant from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust to create the film, only to have promotional support pulled on the eve of its release, a shock which the filmmakers explain as “because it’s not in line with their conservative political values.”

The Trust have a point – this is a savage indictment of an Aussie culture and heritage which turns a blind eye to the horrible treatment we as a nation have doled out to minorities since Europeans first came here – and have apparently declared the film “un-Australian.”

It’s hugely entertaining, scathingly satirical, blackly hilarious and should be mandatory viewing for high school students in our opinion. And, yes, it is highly critical of Australian culture – for very good reason. For the Trust to make such a drastic move as to publically withdraw promo support for it might actually provide Terror Nullius with even more publicity than it would have otherwise received – as well as making the Trust look not only conservative, but massively out of touch.

It’s a rollercoaster ride of a film and one viewing will not be anything near enough. For starters, the source material comes from so many different places that it’s loads of film nerd fun trying to spot what is from Mad Ma, Skippy, Muriel’s Wedding, BMX Bandits, Romper Stomper, Crocodile Dundee, The Crocodile Hunter, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and much, much more, including dialogue from politicians John Howard, Tony Abbot and Pauline Hanson.

Terror Nullius will likely be a cult favourite from this pivotal point of cultural change – a time when we are starting to throw off the cringe deeply ingrained in our culture. Soda Jerk lay that cringe bare for all to see in a language that is specifically in tune with social media, so it’s probably younger generations who will most ‘get it.’ We’re presuming the Ian Potter Cultural Trust doesn’t fit in that demographic, but the sooner the older, stuck-in-the-bad-past generations are out of the picture, the better chance Australia has of developing a happier, more respectful culture.

Shane

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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