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Black and White (2002)

  Directed by: Craig Lahiff
Written by: Louis Nowra
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Kerry Fox, Colin Friels, Ben Mendelsohn, David Ngoombujarra
Links: Black and White on the IMDb
Genre: Based on True Story
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2003 (nominee)

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Not so black and white" - a review by pearly

Black and White is based on the true story of Max Stuart (David Ngoombujarra), an Australian aboriginal man who was sentenced to hang in 1958 after being convicted of sexually abusing and murdering a nine year old girl. The title alludes to both the skin colour factors that were involved, and also the fact that the case was not all black and white. Furthermore, a young Rupert Murdoch (Ben Mendelsohn) got involved in the case - giving it much media attention in his newspaper, and thereby pushing the case along.

The story of Black and White runs along a similar vein to some of the more highly publicised movies of the previous year (Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) and The Tracker (2002), for example), but it does not seem to have been as widely viewed or acclaimed as these two. I think, however, that it is up there in terms of its storytelling, and its ability to make you think about the history of the country in which I live. It also ends with current day footage of one of the main characters (as did Rabbit-Proof Fence), and information about "whatever happened to" the other people in the story.

Stuart is played exquisitely by Ngoombujarra, who makes you feel for this man who can't really fathom what he's managed to get himself into, and Robert Carlyle and Kerry Fox play off each other well as Stuart's lawyers; they each have doubts at times, but each of them pushes the other when they're about to give up, and they manage to do their best for Stuart against all odds. I wasn't sure how Mendelsohn would go playing such a well-known figure as Murdoch, but he actually brings him to life, making him appear just as I imagine he would have been.

Given that Carlyle, a big name from overseas, is involved in one of the main roles in this movie, I am not sure why it received less attention than other similar movies. If you appreciated these other movies, you'll certainly enjoy this one too.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 10 Oct 2003

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Reader comments

  1. Eiri fikebnkeagnlk is jopksöf ögjkpesöo jgl czbmnsjixz of sögk ds

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from eiri fik on Mon 20 Sep 2004 08:55 #

  2. I am wondering if you can email a film review as I am analying the film for my law subject at uni
    cheers
    john

    Rating given: 7

    A comment from JOHN on Thu 07 Oct 2004 14:03 #

  3. great movie

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from barry on Thu 02 Jun 2005 19:24 #

  4. I think this movie was unaccurate, uninformed and unbalanced!

    Rating given: 3

    A comment from Sarah on Tue 07 Jun 2005 15:33 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 7.50 (4 ratings)

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