Snowtown was released in Australia May of this year and to the best of my knowledge this movie didn’t make the big screen in New Zealand. I can see why, it is an acquired taste, and I stumbled on it by chance with a sum total of two copies available in a less than prime position at my local video store and decided to watch it last night.
I am a big fan of this niche genre, Australians have an unhealthy fixation with crime; Maybe it’s their heritage. I loved Animal Kingdom and at the time thought it was one of the most graphic and raw movies I had seen.
Snowtown makes it look like the kind of DVD you put on for the kids when you want a nap.
The film is beautifully shot with a great haunting soundtrack. Think Ry Cooders music for Paris Texas. It is not a film everyone will like; it carries an R18 sticker for a reason.
Directed by Justin Kurzel it documents the life of Australia’s most notorious serial killer John Bunting and the interaction with 16 year old Jamie, a fatherless boy sodomised by his paedophile neighbour and older brother, brought up by his hopeless mother and her junkie friends in a bad suburb in a bad town.
Based on fact it is a very complex story but one that captures, to coin an overused phrase, “the underbelly” of South Australian society.
This is White Trash supreme, like doing burnouts in a 76 Holden Torana with no seat belt this film will throw you round, make you scared and generally find it difficult to get up off your seat without feeling slightly disturbed and maybe a little altered for life.