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Australia 1986
Directed by
Bruce Beresford
98 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

The Fringe Dwellers

The Fringe Dwellers is an understated but credible drama, co-scripted by Beresford and based on a novel of the same name by Nene Gare that tells of the trials of a strong-willed, aspirational teenage girl (Kristina Nehm) simultaneously both rejecting her Aboriginality and, even more so, the dominant social paradigm of White Australia which discriminates against it.

Well-shot by Don McAlpine with a sympathetic score by George Dreyfus, it is a quality production that was an official selection at Cannes in its year of release. Although the portrayal of the Aboriginal community, particularly the character of Trilby's father (Bob Maza) seems at times to border on the stereotypical, one assumes that within proscriptions of cinema it has a fair deal of truth. The largely non-professional cast of Aboriginal actors often lack polish but on the other hand this lends to the more important demand for authenticity.

DVD Features: A cast and crew commentary with producer, Sue Miliken, Beresford, Nehm, and fellow actors Ernie Dingo and Justine Saunders is the main offering with a somewhat gratuitous 54 minute profile of Ernie Dingo who has only a small role in this, his first film, but is the only cast member to have become a household name. Also comes with a stills gallery and brief profile of Gare's novel.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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