DRAMA; 1hr 37min (English with subtitles)
STARRING: Daniel Connors, Christopher Edwards
Mission impossible: Daneeka Connors and Daniel Connors
Positive options are a luxury in the far northwest New South Wales Aboriginal mission town of Toomelah where 10-year-old Daniel (Connors) is aimlessly growing up. In a numbing climate of poverty and resignation, there’s not a lot to do but get wasted, shoot the breeze and look for trouble. Typically, Daniel is well on the way to nowhere, hanging out with drug dealer Linden (Edwards), cutting school and generally growing into another grim statistic.
The family of director Ivan Sen (Beneath Clouds) hails from Toomelah and many of his non-actor relatives appear in the film. Sen has the desultory atmosphere down, with performances as natural as breathing in a cadence so garbled that even though it’s spoken in English, the dialogue requires subtitles. You could call Sen an Australian answer to tough-talking English film-maker Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes the Barley ) and as such, he doesn’t pander to escapist tastes. As out-there as he tries to be, Daniel is just a little boy and in time, that, too will be denied him.