Shame (DVD) (1988) (Australian Import)
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Australia released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Commentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Their town has a secret... Feisty Perth lawyer Asta Cadell (Deborra-Lee Furness, Jindabyne) survives a minor motorcycle accident whilst riding through the rugged Western Australian countryside and is transported to a small town with a dark past. Welcomed by garage owner Tim Curtis (Tony Barry, Australia) and invited to remain through her convalescence Asta encounters the backward nature of the town residents first-hand - appalled by the sexist taunts and misogyny that seems common place and acceptable to the community at large. Threatened herself by a gang of local miscreants Asta discovers that Tim's young daughter Lizzie (Simone Buchanan, My Brilliant Career) is the victim of a vicious gang-rape and decides to take a stand against the cruel and sinister status quo.
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Top Customer Reviews
Asta (Deborra-Lee Furness)is a city barrister taking a break from urban stress by taking off into the countryside on her high powered motorcycle. After an accident leaves her stranded in a small town awaiting spare parts for the bike to arrive,she begins to notice strange undercurrents amongst the townspeople. The men (not many of whom seem to have jobs) spend their time either drinking in the local pub or hooning around town in hotted up cars,while the women go around with a strange fearful nature. It's clear who rules here.
Asta befriends a young girl, Lizzie (Simone Buchanan) the daughter of the local mechanic,whom she discovers has been raped by six of the local lads. A kangaroo shooter's daughter has also suffered the same fate but no-one including the local police seem interested.
After an attempt on Asta herself (in which she fights back injuring several of her attackers) meets with apathy and even congratulations amongst the men (and police) she decides to fight for justice on behalf of Lizzie and the others. She persuades Lizzie to lay charges which provokes the boys to turn violent. Several carloads descend on the garage and a violent fight ensues in which Lizzie's father is badly beaten and Lizzie abducted with tragic consequences.
With original music by Mario Millo and some great scenery,this is a powerful and thought provoking film made in the late '80s but still relevant today. Another great Aussie movie!
Reviewed by Trevor H (from Australia).
Shame is not an easy film to watch. Its stark realism is understandable as it is based on a culture of small town rape-as-pasttime. An Australian friend of mine grew up in a town like this and described it thus 'you knew when it had happened to a girl. She would not be seen for a week or so, and then things were back to normal. The reason the police did nothing was because they had behaved in exactly the same way when they were young'. She also said that it was common for a girl to 'consent' because she would be told that it was going to happen anyway, so she might as well not fight and get more hurt.
Asta is representing the city, and is an independent woman, unapologetically feminist. It is depressing, but possibly true, that the agent of change has to be an outsider. And in real life I wonder how much has really changed.
Australian film making is usually pretty sound. This genre of stark realism is one that they seem to relish, and they do it very well here. Another film about the brutalisation of Australian girls that is of a high calibre is 'Black Rock', probably a bit less grim than Shame.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this film is good with the actors (especially Deborra Lee Furness), she plays very impressive this person, I saw the film a few time.Published on 24 Dec. 2013 by aussiefan