DOCUMENTARY: 1hr 32min
DIRECTED BY: Eric Bana
Beastie boy: Bana
Growing up in Melbourne’s western suburbs, actor Eric Bana “dreamed of being a race-car driver.” When he turned 16 and his father, Ivan, bought him a rust-bucket 1974 Ford Falcon XB Hardtop, an enduring passion was born. To Bana and his three best mates, “The Beast” is the glue that cements their friendship and a perennial reminder of their youth. It was also the first car that Bana raced — in Tasmania in 1996 — and in 2007, with the Beast completely rebuilt, Bana, his parents and his friends returned to Tassie for a crack at the five-day Targa Tasmania Rally.
With Bana behind the wheel (and at the directing helm) the racing sequences are a 600-horsepower blast — until suddenly they’re not. But there is more to the cutting loose than a speed bug: the challenges of staying on track are key to the sense of community that keeps this movie star centred. He is as unfussy a film-maker as he is on camera — easy to like not so much for what he has become as for his affection and respect for where he came from.