Reviews Wrap

Here’s a quick taste of reviews of current release Australian feature films The Tunnel, Here I AmOranges and Sunshine and Cane Toads: The Conquest. Please note these do not reflect the views of the AFI. We’re aiming to represent opinions and views from various sources. You’ll make up your own mind, of course!

The Tunnel

On 18 May, The Tunnel was released simultaneously on DVD, BitTorrent and PayTV’s Showtime. The film’s creators (producers and writers Julian Harvey and Enzo Tedeschi, director Carlo Ledesma and executive producer Andrew Denton) used what they’ve dubbed ‘the 135K project’ to raise the budget for the film.  Individuals could jump online and buy a frame of the movie which in turn has facilited the release of the movie online, for free. Luke Buckmaster over at the Crikey film blog Cinetology gives a good rundown of the film’s funding and distribution strategy, but also writes that it succeeds as a thriller, calling it “a visceral horror-umentary”, noting that its “cinematic spookiness that will infect even hardened genre aficionados with a serious case of the heebie-jeebies.” Richard Gray and Sarah Ward of The Reel Bits are similarly impressed, calling The Tunnel “an effective horror effort filled with tension and terror.” They note that “although the innovative funding and distribution model championed by the feature is garnering it the most attention, the film deserves to be watched based on its merits.”

In a review published on Twitch, Brandon Tenold argues that The Tunnel takes its time to get going, with the scary thrills only entering half way. Tenold nevertheless praises the production values and acting, and writes that it’s a “solid entry into the ‘found footage’ genre and…whether you like it or not, it’s one movie you won’t feel guilty about downloading.” 

Richard Kuipers, writing for Variety (login required), echoes criticism about the film’s slow start, and would have liked it to reveal more about the “malevolent presence” the characters encounter. Nevertheless, he calls The Tunnel “a pretty good spook show”, writing that its “ace lensing on a multitude of formats contributes significantly to the film’s believability as a found-footage item.” 

Here I Am

Beck Cole’s debut feature film Here I Am premiered at the Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival and released nationally on 2 June. Reviewing for the Age newspaper in Melbourne, Philippa Hawker praised the film, writing that “[q]uietly, and with an unobtrusive grace, Here I Am explores harsh truths, everyday realities and intimations of change.” Hawker praises the “wonderfully eloquent presence” of Shai Pittman in the central performance .

Over at Movietime on Radio National Julie Rigg praises the warmth and heart of the film, particularly found in the scenes at the women’s shelter in Temple House. Rigg argues, however, that the film leaves us guessing too much, and that some of the performances are uneven.

Louise Keller and Andrew L. Urban echo similar praise and criticism at Urban Cinefile. Urban notes echoes and parallels between Here I Am and Mad Bastards, both of which portray Indigenous characters fresh out of jail and trying to reconnect with estranged children. Keller writes that a few of the performances “are a little shaky” though she singles out Pittman and Bruce Carter, who plays the love interest, for special praise. Keller also likes the fact that the film “shows there is a way forward, even if the path is tough.”

Reviewing for SBS Film, Fiona Williams gives Here I Am three and a half stars, calling it “a rough diamond”. She likes the fact that “Cole keeps the tone from devolving into ‘message movie’ territory by populating the film with ballsy women who inject elements of brashness and comic relief.” Williams also praises Thornton’s intimate camera work, and the film’s soundtrack, roving from PJ Harvey, to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to the lyrics of Archie Roach’s anthem, ‘Walking into Doors’.

Cane Toads: The Conquest

Cane Toads: The Conquest is a 3D documentary horror film about the environmental devastation left in the wake of the giant toads’ unstoppable march across Australia. Director Mark Lewis first covered the subject matter in his 1988 hit doco Cane Toads: An Unnatural History.  Myke Bartlett over at The Weekly Review says it’s a pity cane toads don’t have the same box office pull as Cate Blanchett as this new movie is possibly “the funniest film of the year.”

Sarah Ward, writing at The Reel Bits calls the film “informative, amusing and unconventional…an engaging and irreverent take on the nature documentary genre.” Michael Lee of  Film-Forward.com, who saw the film at its world premiere at Sundance 2010, finds the subject matter “undeniably fascinating” and writes that this particular documentary is the perfect Sundance response to the 3D phenomenon – “the right mix of sarcasm and visual flair.”

On a more muted note, Peter Galvin at SBS Film enjoys the documentary, yet argues that it isn’t significantly different from Lewis’s previous film about cane toads, and that it doesn’t feel like it’s “nearly as much fun” as the earlier film. Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton from ABC’s At the Movies also remember the earlier film as being funnier, with both of them agreeing on a three star rating.

On the other hand, Anthony Morris, writing for The Big Issue (review reprinted on It’s Better in the Dark) finds the film extremely funny, and argues that “The 3D is never a cheap trick [but is]…used to bring viewers into the film – and the ground-level world of the slow-moving yet relentless cane toad.” Morris selects the film for the ‘standout’ review of the fortnight, and awards it four stars.

Oranges and Sunshine

Oranges and Sunshine key art AustraliaCritics have praised this heart-rending true story of Britain’s child migration for its lack of emotional manipulation or sentimentality. For example, Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton from At the Movies agree that Oranges and Sunshine is restrained, unsentimental and yet incredibly moving, with both critics agreeing on four stars. Richard Kuipers, reviewing for Variety (login required) writes that the film is so moving that audiences may be in tears within minutes of starting to watch Oranges and Sunshine. Yet Kuipers praises the film for its lack of sensationalism, singling out Denson Baker’s cinematography and Lisa Gerrard’s “discreet musical score” for commendation.

Marl Naglazas, reviewing for The West Australian praises screenwriter Rona Munro for creating a script that’s able to “keep a very tight lid on the sentiment, treating it as more of a detective story instead of a conventional melodrama and allowing the emotion and outrage to bubble to the surface.” However Empire’s David Hughes argues the opposite line, that “in its studious avoidance of melodrama, it’s almost too low key for its own good.”

Over at TheVine, Alice Tynan applauds lead actress Emily Watson, arguing that she’s perfectly cast as the gentle but tough-minded social worker Margaret Humphreys. Tynan also praises director Jim Loach for his “impressive craftsmanship and keen emotional intelligence” but finds the film’s pacing uneven, suggesting the material may have been better served by a television mini-series.

Thomas Caldwell, writing for Cinema Autopsy, commends Oranges and Sunshine for functioning “as both entertainment and as a piece of social awareness.” Caldwell writes that with this film Jim Loach “has announced himself a distinctive cinematic voice who is able to handle complex and difficult subject matter with sensitivity and skill.”

Check out these films on the big screen now, while they’re in the cinemas, and feel free to drop back and leave your comments and opinions.

Our next Reviews Wrap will cover Blame and Sleeping Beauty.

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Reviews Wrap: Mrs Carey’s Concert, Mad Bastards & Snowtown

Here I Am: In Conversation with Beck Cole, Marcia Langton and Kath Shelper

Tough and Tender: An interview with Emily Watson (Oranges and Sunshine)

Reviews Wrap

Here’s a quick taste of what some reviewers said about recently released Australian feature films. Please note that these do not reflect the views of the AFI; we’re aiming to represent just a smattering of opinions and views from various sources. You’ll make up your own mind, of course!

Mrs Carey’s Concert

Mrs Carey's Concert key artBob Connolly and Sophie Raymond’s observational documentary about a high school music teacher may well be the surprise Australian hit of the year. The self-distributed film, which opened this year’s BigPond Adelaide Film Festival, is not only performing well at the limited release box office (more than $500,000 to date), it’s also being universally praised by critics and reviewers. David Stratton and Margararet Pomeranz from At the Movies describe it as “a rounded and very satisfying film that is both hugely entertaining and incredibly inspirational,” giving it four and a half stars and four stars respectively. Writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sandra Hall also gives Mrs Carey’s Concert four and a half stars, praising Connolly’s “patience and unobtrusiveness” which result in a film that’s “well worth every exhilarating minute.” The Age’s Jake Wilson  gives high praise, writing that Mrs Carey’s Concert “transcends its “inspirational” format to rank as the best Australian film so far this year.” Filmink’s Cara Nash calls the film “absorbing and revealing” and “nothing short of compelling”, using the Filmink ratings system to value the film at $17 out of a possible $20. Writing for Onya magazine, Glenn Dunks has only one qualm, observing that “a sequence in which Mrs Carey loses a folder of sheet music feels artificial and unnecessary.”  In the end however, he finds the film to be “a wonderful experience to witness.” (Interested in finding out more about Bob Connolly and Sophie Raymond? Click through to read our recent interview with them.)

Mad Bastards

Mad Bastards key artFilmed and set within Indigenous communities  in the amazingly picturesque Kimberley region of WA, Mad Bastards impressed at Sundance where it premiered earlier this year. Directed by Brendan Fletcher, and featuring the musical talents of the Pigram Brothers (who also acted as producers on the film), Mad Bastards is a musical journey following three generations of Aboriginal men who find their way out of the cycle of violence. Thomas Caldwell, writing for The Big Issue magazine (review reproduced on the Cinema Autopsy blog) gave the film four stars and announced that “Mad Bastards is simply Australia’s most impressive film since Animal Kingdom.” Helen Garner, writing in the May 2011 edition of The Monthly writes that “Mad Bastards is a work of serious maturity and grace. It reminded me of something that Plato said about art – that it should be ‘like a wind from excellent places, bringing health.”

Writing for the SBS Film website, Michelle Orange found the musical interludes intrusive, arguing that director Brendan Fletcher’s “over-reliance on score sets up an avoidant rhythm that begins to feel like a lack of narrative confidence.” Ultimately though, Orange finds much to like about the film, and writes that in it’s final climactic scene, “the privileging of tableau over dialogue feels just right.” Quickflix critic Simon Miraudo gives Mad Bastards four out of five stars, and despite admitting to hating films which conclude with footage of real subjects, Miraudo acknowledges that it works here, and that “Mad Bastards is an involving tribute to – and exciting evolution of – Australian storytelling.”

Writing for the Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Jim Schembri awards Mad Bastards four and a half stars out of five, writing that it “bravely explores a host of hot-button issues with a deft blending of humour, sensitivity and often brutal frankness.” Andrew L. Urban over at Urban Cinefile writes that the film “understated in its redemptive message, much like Samson and Delilah was, and while it has a few clunky storytelling moments, it’s an engaging and touching film.”

Snowtown

Snowtown key artCertainly the most controversial Australian release of the year so far, Justin Kurzel’s feature directorial debut Snowtown is based on the brutal serial killings known as the ‘bodies in the barrels’ cases, which occurred in Adelaide in the 1990s. Winner of the 2011 Adelaide Film Festival’s Audience Award (where it had its Australian premiere) and selected for Critics’ Week at Cannes (where it received a special mention by the Jury President), Snowtown is currently dividing audiences and critics – though everyone seems to agree that Adam Arkapaw’s cinematography and Jed Kurzel’s musical score are beyond reproach. 

One of the most rapturous responses to the film surely came from Clem Bastow at The Vine, who awarded Snowtown five out of  five stars and wrote that despite its grimness, the film is “an incredible piece of cinema and a devastating, poetic work of storytelling.” Crikey blogger Luke Buckmaster over at Cinetology was similarly blown away, praising the “airtight sense of verisimilitude maintained by unwavering directorial focus,” and calling it the “most frightening Australian film ever made, and a great piece of art.”  

Both Louise Keller and Andrew L. Urban of Urban Cinefile commended the strong performances of the actors in the film and agreed that the film succeeded in creating an undeniably tense atmosphere, yet Keller’s admission that she ” left the cinema feeling repulsed and downtrodden at the sombre world depicted, from which not even a little piece of blue sky can be seen,” is one echoed my many viewers, including Helen Garner, who admitted in The Monthly that the film left her despairing and nauseated.  The Adelaide based Anders Wotzke of Cut Print Review commends director Justin Kurzel’s naturalistic direction, but argues that the grisly film “struggles to build an emotional rapport with its audience.” Both Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton from the ABC’s At the Movies  praised the impressive acting performances on screen, but found the setup confusing and worried at the film’s lack of “moral centre”. The debate continues, and audiences seem keen to check it out for themselves, with the film’s strong performance on the limited box office charts. (Interested in learning more about the actors in Snowtown? Click through to read our interviews with Daniel Henshall, Lucas Pittaway and Louise Harris.)

Check out these films on the big screen now, while they’re in the cinemas, and feel free to drop back and leave your comments and opinions.

Next week, our Reviews Wrap will take in the crowdfunded film The Tunnel, available freely on torrent; Beck Cole’s Here I Am, and Mark Lewis’s 3D creature feature documentary Cane Toads: The Conquest.

Here I Am: In conversation with Beck Cole, Kath Shelper & Marcia Langton

Beck Cole, Marcia Langton & Kath Shelper

Director Beck Cole, actor Marcia Langton and producer Kath Shelper on the set of 'Here I Am'.

– By Rochelle Siemienowicz

As an interviewer, I love the intimacy and focus of the one-on-one chat. The more people you add to the group, the harder it is to maintain the thread. But when I met these three impressive women the day after the premiere of their film Here I Am  at the Adelaide Film Festival in February 2011, it was a pleasure to join in their conversation, and witness their easy humour and obvious affection for one other.

Beck Cole is the film’s writer and director. The story of a beautiful young Aboriginal woman remaking her life after jail, Here I Am may be Cole’s first feature, but she’s long been an Indigenous filmmaker to watch. Cole directed the AFI Award

Warwick Thornton & Beck Cole on set 'Here I Am'

Partners in life and work - cinematographer Warwick Thornton and director Beck Cole on set of 'Here I Am'.

winning SBS documentary series First Australians: The Untold Story of Australia, and has made a number of remarkable short films like Wirriya: Small Boy and Plains Empty. She also directed and produced the documentary Making Samson & Delilah, tracing the progress of that groundbreaking film, alongside her partner (in life, work and parenting) Warwick Thornton. It’s a partnership that continues to be productive, with Thornton taking direction from his wife this time, bringing his considerable talent as cinematographer to Here I Am.

Samson & Delilah producer Kath Shelper continues her long association with the couple: she produced Cole’s short film Plains Empty, Thornton’s short films Green Bush and Nana as well as various other projects, including Sally Riley’s sly AFI Award winning short film Confessions of a Headhunter.
Lead actress Shai Pittman and producer Kath Shelper - 'Here I Am'.

Lead actress Shai Pittman and producer Kath Shelper - 'Here I Am'.

Marcia Langton completes the trio. Appearing on screen in the film, she plays the tough and terrifying mother of the central character Karen (Shai Pittman). To be honest, it’s not much of a stretch for Professor Marcia Langton, who is surely one of the most formidable women in Australia. An anthropologist, geographer and long time advocate of Aboriginal rights, she was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1993, and since 2000 has been the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. With her fiery stare and luminous white hair, she has natural screen presence – and in fact this isn’t her first appearance on film. Langton previously acted in Tracey Moffatt’s short film Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy, which screened in competition at Cannes in 1990.
Marcia Langton on set "Here I Am'.

Don't mess with Marcia! Langton plays one tough mother in ''Here I Am'.

The three woman are actually a little bit frazzled when we meet. They’ve just been over the road being interviewed on camera for the ABC’s At The Movies. And as Shelper jokes, ‘to quote Samson & Delilah’s star Rowan McNamara, “Wow, this is serious!”‘ Nevertheless, they settle in for a very relaxed coffee and a laugh. Read on for a window into that conversation.

AFI: Congratulations to you all. It was such a warm audience reception last night.

Kath Shelper:  Yes it was wonderful. Sometimes at festival screenings it’s all just industry people and invited guests, but the festival said they actually sold more than 350 tickets, so the fact that it was a mixed audience made it even more gratifying.

I think the tide has definitely turned on people being afraid to go and see Indigenous films or feeling like it’s going to be homework and they’re going to be made to feel bad.
– Kath Shelper

Beck Cole: We actually had our cast and crew screening the night before, and it was all extended family of those involved in the film – cousins three times removed, including my own! It was a warm and lovely screening, with everyone laughing and getting the humour, and I think the premiere had that vibe too.

AFI: Here I Am is a very hotly anticipated film, and it’s wonderful that films from Indigenous filmmakers and with Indigenous subjects are actually becoming the films people want to see, and not just because it’s political or a fashion statement.

Kath Shelper: I think over the last couple of years, Indigenous films have definitely become a good brand [laughs]. There’s such a variety of filmmakers and so many different styles of films being made in different genres, and so many different voices. I think the tide has definitely turned on people being afraid to go and see Indigenous films or feeling like it’s going to be homework and they’re going to be made to feel bad.

Marcia Langton: The films that have come out over the last few years have people all over the world talking about them in animated terms. I went to Paris, London, Cambridge and other parts of Europe after the release of Samson & Delilah and people were so excited by it. And I’m still getting emails about that film. And then when Bran Nue Dae came out, people said, ‘There, you see! They can no longer say that Indigenous films are just sort of exotic, minor, marginal. It’s not possible to say that any more.’

Beck Cole & Shai Pittman on set for 'Here I Am'.

Director Beck Cole with lead actress Shai Pittman on set of 'Here I Am'.

AFI: Beck, you’ve said before that you wanted to make this film to celebrate the strength and beauty of Indigenous women. Something I like about this film is that it’s an Australian film with women at the very centre of it, with men peripheral. That’s not something we see too often.

Beck Cole: Yeah, it was really fun to do that and to create these characters. I know each of these women from my own life, it was great to create them on the page and then bring them to life on the screen. But I did also want to create the beautiful men, who actually say these kind and heartfelt things. I wanted to have these two lovely kind Indigenous men in the film. Even though they’re small parts, they’re important.

Kath Shelper: And we did make sure they were very handsome men. They had to be hot! [laughs] There was this funny thing with the casting, where Beck had written this casual description about the character of Jeff  that was quite blunt and explicit, and just supposed to be an internal memo….

Bruce Carter plays 'Jeff' in 'Here I Am'.

Bruce Carter plays 'Jeff' in 'Here I Am'.

Beck Cole: Yeah, I said that he was charming and needed to wear thongs and be a rough diamond, maybe a few acne scars, but he had to ‘fuckable’! And this description accidentally got printed and given to all the men auditioning. And when I realised and asked Bruce Carter, the actor who eventually got the role, I was like, ‘Oh my lord!’ How embarrassing.

Kath Shelper: I think I’m going to put those notes on our website!

AFI: You have a reasonably large cast with some fairly inexperienced actors. Was that a challenge?

I couldn’t see why she wanted me. And then I realised after the fact: ‘Oh, it’s because I do “grumpy” so well!’ You know, I can do grumpy in my sleep.

– Marcia Langton

Beck Cole: Yeah, there’s a real mix of experienced actors  and newcomers. Pauline Whyman, who plays ‘Skinny’ does loads of acting and has great comic timing, and our lead Shai Pittman has had a little bit of experience with things like All Saints, but this is her first big role. Then there’s Marcia, who is no stranger to the camera, though I did have to try very hard to convince her to do the part. But everyone was very supportive of each other and it was a matter of getting them all comfortable and confident in front of the camera, you know when it’s right in your face. Getting rid of that shame factor and gigglyness and shyness. Everyone was really brave.

AFI: Marcia, you were reluctant to take on the part of this tough and disgruntled mother?

Marcia Langton: Well, as I said to Beck, there are plenty of good professional actors around who could do the job better than I could. I couldn’t see why she wanted me. And then I realised after the fact: ‘Oh, it’s because I do “grumpy” so well!’ You know, I can do grumpy in my sleep.

Kath Shelper: And now Marcia’s happy to be typecast as the grumpy woman so she can get more roles. She wants to play the matriarch of a big drug family [laughs] and maybe win an Oscar!

AFI: Marcia, what was the way into the character for you?

Marcia Langton & Quinaiha Scott

Four-year-old Quinaiha Scott and her on-screen granny Marcia Langton in 'Here I Am'.

Marcia Langton: I think when I got to the set of the women’s shelter I thought, ‘Right, I know what this is all about,’ from having visited women’s shelters throughout my life for various reasons – visiting friends, taking people there, that sort of thing. Also, there’s a particular tension between mothers and daughters where drugs are involved, and I have a lot of friends who’ve been through that. It’s the worst thing a mother can go through, trying to get kids off drugs. It drives women crazy, because drugs are stronger than people, stronger than their willpower, stronger than love. I reminded myself of how difficult that was, and that helped me build up the hardness of the character. And also, thinking about those terrible tweeny years when young girls can be so monstrous. It wasn’t that hard to tap into really!

AFI: How long was the shoot, and was it always going to be in Port Adelaide?

Kath Shelper: It was a six week shoot, and yes it was always going to be in Adelaide.

Beck Cole: I always wanted it set in Port Adelaide, right from the start.

Kath Shelper: It was always written as being set in Adelaide, which made it very easy for my financing through the Adelaide Film Festival. They like films to be made here and set here – even though they do support films which aren’t. Also, there are a lot of films shot in South Australia that aren’t necessarily set here – it’s an anonymous location, or they’re shot for somewhere else, taking advantage of the diverse landscape. Whereas this project is set here, and it’s about the community here, and the people here. So that’s very special.

Key art Here I AmMarcia Langton: Actually, that’s one of the things that impressed me when I went to the Temple House location [the setting of the women’s shelter featured in the film]. I thought, ‘This is great, this is really about this particular place.’

AFI: How much did the festival invest in the film, and what was the total budget?

Kath Shelper: I think it was about $180,000 – a significant amount of the $2.4 million budget. It certainly completed the financing, and the other great thing about the film festival fund is that it gives you a date to premiere. You know what you’re working towards. Sometimes when you make a film it’s all unknown, and you’re working in a vacuum, whereas here it was wonderful to be able to say to the girls in the cast that this film is going to be in the Adelaide Film Festival next February and that’s a solid date look forward to.

AFI: The budget on Here I Am is a bit more than you were working with on with Samson & Delilah [$1.6 million]. What were the differences in that regard?

Kath Shelper: We made the film in a similiar way but just upsized it a bit. There were so many more cast and locations. We had grips and gaffers this time too, for instance, because there was so much more to be done. But we still worked in a very simple, fast and economical way.

AFI: Kath and Beck, you two have worked together for many years, along with Warwick. You’re all friends, you hang out together. Does each project get easier as you know each other better?

Beck Cole: Every film is a battle. It’s always hard work. But we do support each other tremendously.

Kath Shelper: Warwick and Beck and I have been working together for about seven years, and we do have a really good foundation that we’re working off. But each project is completely different and brings a whole new set of challenges. It doesn’t get any easier – to write the script, or find the money or shoot it and put it together. We’re really lucky though that we do have a strong bond, and that we like each other.

A cold night shoot in Port Adelaide with Warwick Thornton & Beck Cole.

A cold night shoot in Port Adelaide with Warwick Thornton & Beck Cole.

AFI: Beck, you’re a mum and a stepmum of young kids. What are the challenges of directing and being on set with kids and how do you manage that?

Beck Cole: Nannas! Nannas. Did you see the list of Nannas in the credits? Look, Warwick and I have been so blessed with our families helping us. My family take months off at a time just to some and support us in what we do.

Kath Shelper: But at the same time, Beck’s on set directing and then she comes running down to me and says ‘Shit, I’ve forgotten to pick up Luca [Beck and Warwick’s daughter] from school!’ So I have to jump in the car and drive down there.

Beck Cole: Yeah, poor thing. Having to get up and be with us on set in the freezing cold at 5am, and doing a whole term at a new school while we shot the film. It’s not easy on her. She’s great though. She doesn’t know anything else but this way of life. But yeah, Nannas are essential.

AFI: Marcia and Kath, can you describe what Beck is like as a director?

Marcia Langton: She has a real vision, and it’s her vision, and sometimes we don’t exactly know what it is. She’s a very nice person and we’re all trying to please her and give her what she wants, but sometimes it’s a mystery!

Kath Shelper: Beck’s latest favourite expression is ‘honest to a fault – but not my fault!’ She’s a very funny person and she has a great sense of humour. She’s also an acute observer of people and how they tick. She’s made a lot of documentaries and I think perhaps that’s something that she’s learnt from them, or maybe it’s why she was drawn to them in the first place – the observational side of things. She also has a great sense of character and drama, and how to bring that to the screen.

AFI: Beck, did you always know that this would be an uplifting kind of story rather than a grim and depressing one?

Here I Am releases nationally on 2 June 2011.

Beck Cole: There were many different versions of the story over the years, but it was always going to follow this woman in the weeks following her release from prison as she tries to reconnect with her family, and her young daughter, and it was always going to be about her gaining insight and vision. I think it is important that you come away from it and feel hope and joy, and that you feel like she’s going to be okay.

AFI: Best wishes with the film’s release and thanks for speaking with us.

Production Note: Many of the team behind Samson & Delilah can be found again in the credits of Here I Am, including Director of Photography Warwick Thornton, Editor Roland Gallois, Sound Recordist David Tranter, Sound Designer Liam Egan, Costume Designer Heather Wallace, Make-up Artist Carol Cameron, and Associate Producer Fiona Pakes.

You might also be interested in this interview with Warwick Thornton and Kath Shelper from 2009, when they spoke to the AFI about Samson & Delilah.