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Bran nue dae - Rocky McKenzie, Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo, Rachel Perkins

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

It's the summer of 1969 and young Willie (Rocky McKenzie) is filled with the life of the idyllic old pearling port Broome, in the North of Western Australia - fishing, hanging out with his mates, and when he can, his girl Rosie (Jessica Mauboy). However his mother Theresa (Ningali Lawford) has great hopes for him and she returns him to the religious mission in Perth for further schooling. After being punished by Father Benedictus (Geoffrey Rush) for an act of youthful rebellion, Willie runs away from the mission. But to where... he's too ashamed to go home, it will break his mother's heart. Down on his luck he meets an old fella, who he calls ‘Uncle' Tadpole (Ernie Dingo), and together they con a couple of hippies, Annie (Missy Higgins) and Slippery (Tom Budge), into taking them on the 2,500 km journey through spectacular landscape back to Broome. Willie learns the hard and funny lessons he needs to get home, all the while pursued by Father Benedictus. Arriving back in Broome, Willie wins the girl, convinces his mother that Broome is the place he should be, and discovers that the father he never knew he had is his journeyman companion all along - ‘Uncle' Tadpole.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Bran nue dae theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film Australia drama musical Broome WA aborigine religion mission search father sing dance indigenous Sixties

Persons of interest

  • Geoffrey Rush .... Father Benedictus
  • Magda Szubanski .... Roadhouse Betty
  • Tom Budge .... Slippery
  • 'Missy' Higgins .... Annie
  • Ernie Dingo .... Uncle Tadpole
  • Deborah Mailman .... Roxanne
  • Jessica Mauboy .... Rosie
  • Ningali Lawford .... Theresa
  • Dan Sultan .... Lester
  • Rocky McKenzie .... Willie
  • Kuckles .... Playwright
  • Patrick Duttoo Bin Amat .... Playwright
  • Michael Manolis Mavromatis .... Playwright
  • Stephen Pigram .... Playwright
  • Reg Cribb .... Screenwriter
  • Rachel Perkins .... Screenwriter
  • Jimmy Chi .... Screenwriter
  • Rachel Perkins .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

  • Bran nue dae official movie sites:
  • Bran nue dae film production notes
  • Bran nue dae QuickTime movie trailers
  • Awards and film festivals:
    • Australian Film Institute (AFI) 2010: Won: Best supporting actress (Deborah Mailman); Nominated: Best film (Robyn Kershaw, Graeme Isaac), Best adapted screenplay (Reg Cribb, Rachel Perkins, Jimmy Chi), Readers choice award (Robyn Kershaw, Graeme Isaac), Members' choice award (Robyn Kershaw, Graeme Isaac), Best sound (Andrew Neil, Steve Burgess, Peter Mills, Mario Vaccaro, Blaire Slater, David Bridie, Scott Montgomery), Best original music score (Cezary Skubiszewski, Jimmy Chi, Patrick Duttoo Bin Amat, Garry Gower, Michael Manolis Mavromatis, Stephen Pigram), Best costume design (Margot Wilson)
    • if Awards: Nominated: Best production design (Felicity Abbott), Best music (Cezary Skubiszewski, Jimmy Chi and Kuckles), Best director (Rachel Perkins)
  • NB: The title is colloquial English meaning "brand new day"
  • Studios and distributors:

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

I haven't seen the stage play. I haven't heard the soundtrack. I haven't been to Broome. I don't remember much of the 60s (proving that I was there). I have now seen Bran nue dae. Here is what I learned.

Not much. However, I have the benefit of a wide-ranging education so I know that religions are evil, colonial powers are bad, priests are hypocrites, you can't stop true love, hippies are gullible, backpackers are good for a laugh and boys will be boys. There are some good songs - and good singers - in the movie but the pacing makes it all feel rushed. It's as if a two-hour stage musical got squashed into a one-and-a-half-hour film so they cut out the character development and concentrated on the story.

Budding film-makers should note that a theatre audience will sit through a longer play than a cinema audience will sit through a film, not least because there's a break half-way through and to no small measure that they're generally older and better educated. Still, the locations range from great to stunning. The actors, likewise. Deborah Mailman steals the whole show with a performance that borders on the stereotypical then thunders over the border into the real woman on the other side: it's great.

The thing that really comes across is the sense of aboriginality, the way we see the world from the aborigines' point of view, rather than from that of the dominant (ie Anglo) culture. In that respect it's a bit like Rabbit-proof fence. And it's a shock to see so many brown faces gathered together on the same screen. Even Ten canoes didn't have this effect, possibly because there where no white faces with which to contrast them, possibly because there is that sense of nature documentary. Bran nue dae is about aborigines living in a white world but one in which white people are a distant and relatively minor consideration. No-one likes to be relegated to the sideline, especially when you're a part of the ruling Empire (on which the sun never sets)(God bless her)(and all the seamen in her).

Bran nue dae is, however, first and foremost a romance and in that sense it does quite well. The historical stuff adds piquancy to the never-running-smooth path of true love. It's an enjoyable tale that everyone can enjoy.

The Australia, drama movie Bran nue dae is directed by Rachel Perkins and stars Rocky McKenzie, Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo.

Media intelligence (Blu-ray)

  • Audio: Dolby True HD 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Languages: English
  • Special features:
    • Featurettes: The story of Bran nue dae
    • Galleries: Film to storyboard comparison
    • Interviews: Bran nue dae making of (x11)
  • Subtitles: English

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Stereo 2.0
  • Languages: English
  • Special features:
    • Featurettes: The story of Bran nue dae
    • Galleries: Film to storyboard comparison
    • Interviews: Bran nue dae making of (x11)
  • Subtitles: English

Government security censorship classification

PG (Mild violence, sexual references and coarse language)

Surveillance time

85 minutes (1:25 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 14 January 2010
Disc: 20 May 2010

Cinema surveillance images

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