Synopsis – Read and fill in the blanks



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Australian Identity in Film
Study Guide


View ‘Australia’ (2008)

Synopsis
– Read and fill in the blanks
It is 1939. Lady _______ _______ (Nicole Kidman) leaves England for Australia to confront her husband, Maitland. He has spent the last year preparing to sell their last remaining asset, _______ _______, a cattle station the size of Belgium in remote north-western Australia. S_________ of his stalling, she travels by flying boat to the remote tropical outpost of Darwin to take matters into her own hands. She is met in Darwin not by her husband, but by a crude, rough-hewn cattleman known only as ‘______ __________’ (Hugh Jackman). On the overland journey from Darwin to Faraway Downs, _____ kilometres west of Kununurra in Western Australia, Sarah and the Drover develop a deep, mutual dislike for each other. After an unexpected turn of events, a part-Aboriginal child, _______ (Brandon Walters) becomes part of Sarah’s life. He reveals to Sarah that all is not as it seems. To save the property, Sarah must join forces with the Drover to drive ________ head of cattle across northern Australia’s breathtaking yet brutal landscape. Along with Nullah, they are joined by a misfit band from the station. All the while they are shadowed by a mysterious Aboriginal magic man, King ________ (David Gulpilil). Sarah is transformed by her experiences of the country and the people on this journey, finding romance in the landscape, passion with the Drover, and a maternal love for Nullah. But when the _______ _______ comes to Darwin in the form of Japanese bombing raids, the group is torn apart. Sarah, the Drover and Nullah must fight to find each other in the tragedy and chaos of the bombing.

Themes
The film weaves many themes and episodes into the story. Write 6-8 sentences explaining how we see the following themes in this film.
TRANSFORMING JOURNEY
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DROVING
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THE BOMBING OF DARWIN
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THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLE AND THE WHITE SETTLERS


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LOVE
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THE POWER OF MAGIC AND BELIEFS
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Characters

Most stories and films have characters that are either more good than bad or more bad than good. Good people, as in real life, are not always perfect all the time and bad people sometimes do the right thing or show us a nicer side of themselves. People do change! It would be a bit boring and unrealistic if people in movies were only either good or bad. Still, this film does tell a story about heroes and villains. SORT THE MAIN CHARACTERS into two lists, mainly good and admirable ‘heroes’ and mainly bad and not someone to be liked or admired ‘villians’: The Drover, King Carney, Fletcher, Lady Sarah Ashley, Maitland, Flynn, Nullah, Daisy, Yuen Po, King George, Cath Carney, Sergeant Callahan.



HEROES

VILLIANS























































‘Kings’ s
Who are the two characters in this film who are called ‘King’?
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Why is each one given this name? What are they each ‘Kings’ of? Give some examples of how each ‘King’ exercises his power. Answer in a paragraph.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Imaging Australia
This film has had a good deal of pre-publicity and even been used as part of an advertising campaign for Tourism Australia to encourage tourists to come to Australia and have a real Australian experience. While the ads do not feature either Kidman or Jackman – though Brandon Walters (Nullah) does feature in some of them – these advertisements do reflect the film’s key themes of adventure, romance and the emotional transformation people may undergo when travelling in isolated areas of the outback. The tagline for one of these television advertisements features Brandon Walters urging visitors to explore Australia’s rich Indigenous heritage – to ‘come walkabout’. The advertisements for Tourism Australia carry the message: ‘To find yourself, sometimes you need to lose yourself. In Australia they call this going walkabout’. What kind of picture of Australia does the film ‘Australia’ present? Do you think it is a good film to use in Tourism? Why/Why not? Do you agree with the above advertising campaign Why/Why not? Answer in a complete paragraph.
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