Sunday 29 March 2009

A warning shot

Many countries in recent years have produced films which portray some of the harsher real-life aspects of society - "hanging their dirty washing in public". In France there was "La Haine", in the UK "Trainspotters" and "Goodbye Charlie Bright", from Brazil "The City of God". From Australia we now have "The Combination", a film which focuses upon the tensions between white Australians and Lebanese newcomers in modern Australian cities. The film probes deep into Australian culture and personality, not only raising awareness about the kind of social problems which other countries have been coming to terms with for decades now, but also presenting in a very graphic way, the fact that a new era is beginning in Australia which echoes some of modern Australia's own beginnings. It is a quite a daring film to have made, the first half seeming to say that white anglo-saxon Australia is under threat, the second half taking the message to a deeper level and challenging some of white anglo-saxon Australia's values. This is, I think, a much more important film than "Australia". What influence a film has on a society, if any, is hard to measure. But there is a warning given by this film to both the settled and the new settlers that Australian society is presently undergoing a fairly radical change, a kind of change that is not easy to accomodate.

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