Australia Day Film Review :
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On Australia’s most controversial national holiday, the lives of three Australians from diverse cultural backgrounds will collide, illuminating contemporary issues of racial tension and national identity that simmer beneath the surface of modern Australia.
“Brown skin can do just as much damage as white,” says one of the many angry young men in Australia Day, a crudely sketched drama about race relations making its debut at the Sydney Film Festival. The line’s delivered in the middle of a beating, and the victim isn’t the only one being bludgeoned.
Ticking off everything from the dark side of Aussie bro-culture to sex trafficking to farmer suicide and the tensions between Indigenous Australians and the police, this tin-eared feature from director Kriv Stenders (Red Dog) and writer Stephen M. Irwin (Secrets & Lies) feels somehow both overstuffed and depthless. Produced by Australian cable provider Foxtel, Australia Day is every inch the TV-movie, with characters who collide, clash and learn to be better people with schematic precision.