Saturday, July 11, 2009

Great Australian YA Books That Are Also Great Australian Films (II)

One of my all time favourite Australian films has to Australian Rules which in my opinion is seriously under appreciated. It's adapted from Phillip Gwynne's YA book Deadly, Unna? and is set and filmed in country South Australia. The main character, Blacky, is played by one of my favourite Aussie actors Nathan Phillips who was fortunate enough to play the guy who was the reason all those snakes were on that plane in Snakes On A Plane. This film was made in 2002 so yeah, it was before he was famous haha. Definitely try and find this movie if you can, I'm not sure how easy it is to come by, though I'd be interested to see if you felt you needed subtitles though if you're not Australian, there's some great slang in here.

In Prospect Bay, a remote outpost on the South Australian coast, two communities, the Goonyas (whites) and the Nungas (blacks), come together on the one field they have in common, the football field. But the underlying racism and class warfare threatens to make the team's greatest victories irrelevant. This holds particularly true for Blacky, a white teen who is more interested in books than sport, and his best friend, Dumby, the Aboriginal star of the team.

(Actually both book and film are available on amazon, you'll just have to ignore the film's sole review... it got one star haha - book | film)


  1. Very moving film and book. I wrote this essay on the film a few years ago.

    I know it upset a lot of people though. And I didn't really like Nukkin Ya (the sequel to Deadly Unna?).

  2. Haven't read the book or seen the movie, though I've heard of both (had no idea that movie was based on that book, though). I'll definitely check it out.

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