Mystery Road (2013)

Review first published by EyeforFilm When, with his previous, excellent feature Toomelah, Ivan Sen forced viewers to look hard at the long-term after-effects of historical mistreatment and abuse on a small town’s Aboriginal population, he sugared the pill with the barest ghost of genre tropes to remind us that it was not merely a stylised documentary…

Mystery Road (2013)

Review first published by Little White Lies “There’s a place called Slaughter Hill, it’s off Mystery Road,” says Indigenous Police Inspector Jay Swan (Aaron Pederson) into the phone, setting up the fateful rendez-vous that will bring Ivan Sen’s feature to its tense climax. It is also roughly where the narrative began, with a truck driver…

Toomelah

Toomelah (2011)

Toomelah first published by EyeforFilm Whenever 10-year-old Daniel (Daniel Connors) is asked, “Where you been?” or “Where you going?”, his response is always the same: “Nowhere.” This question-and-answer mantra, frequently repeated in Ivan Sen‘s film, comes to resemble a catechism of community nihilism and despair. The community, as the title suggests, is Toomelah, in the…

Tracks (2013)

Review first published by Sight & Sound, May 2014 Synopsis: 1975, Alice Springs. Robyn Davidson arrives with her dog Diggity, determined to obtain some camels and trek solo across the Western Australian desert to the Indian Ocean. After working first with camel-owner Kurt and then with Sallay, she gains experience and puts together a team…