Film Review: Strange Colours

Published in The Monthly (online), 2018

Landscape is the font of Australian cinema. No matter the stats on urban populations, our filmmakers are lured back to the outback’s endless vistas: the stolen land from which the nation grew, the originary wound whose blood we’re yet to staunch. I could cite examples from nearly every Australian classic, but I always return to that 360-degree pan across the burnt ground that opens Wake in Fright (1971): a vision of nothingness made threatening in its infinitude.

So it’s gently bracing when Russian-born Australian filmmaker Alena Lodkina opens her feature debut, Strange Colours, by looking up at a galaxy of stars, not menacing or melancholy but glittering and alive. She rounds out her one-two combo by plunging us headlong beneath the earth’s surface before she reveals the landscape where the film is set: Lightning Ridge, the remote mining town in…

Read online at The Monthly.