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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

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DARKSIDE, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Aboriginal people live on the threshold of two worlds - one of everyday reality and the other of spirits, demons and entities. They can live an ordinary life with dead ancestors and demons all vying for space. A collection of poignant, sad, funny and absurd ghost tales from across Australia brought to life with some of Australia's most iconic actors as the storytellers.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Sad to say this film is a case of overpromising and underdelivering, a misplaced concept for cinema that should have been recognised as such early on. As with hearing someone's dreams, the listener has no visual references or images and interest is hard to maintain. Perhaps in recognition of this inherent weakness, Warwick Thornton adopted some iconic actors to re-tell stories harvested in the search for the film's content. Even though the performances are great, there is a disconnect; they are repeating what happened to someone else, directly contradicting the one rule the filmmakers had: they only wanted to hear of first hand experiences.

I realise there is a difference, but the end result is weakened by it - not strengthened. Cinematically, engaging storytelling needs more.

Some of the stories are more engaging than others, but even the sad story of the dying baby and grandma's presence in spirit loses power in this telling.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

DARKSIDE, THE (PG)
(Aust, 2013)

CAST: Documentary featuring Deborah Mailman, Sacha Horler, Aaron Pedersen, Bryan Brown, Claudia Karvan, Shari Sebbens, Jack Charles

PRODUCER: Kath Shelper

DIRECTOR: Warwick Thornton

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Warwick Thornton

EDITOR: Roland Gallois

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Annie Beauchamp

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Transmission

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: NSW: November 28, 2013; Vic/WA/ACT: February 27, 2014







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