Black and White

Based on a true story, I was aware of this movie long ago but decided to watch it one day after reading that Ben Mendelshon played a young Rupert Murdoch, an idea I found fascinating.

It's the story of an aboriginal man accused of murdering a young girl at a remote South Australian beach in the 1960s, and the brutality and assumed guilt he's treated with. It's as much a comment on the times as the story itself.

You have the illiterate, scared native who knows nothing about his rights, police procedure or anything else he should know to defend himself, the cops and town authorities who want nothing more than to pin the guilt on an abbo, the enlightened, crusading lawyer (Carlyle) who's prepared to give everything up to do what's right and the snivelling, superior, well connected Brit determined to see the black hang (Dance).

All the characters are fairly stereotypical, but it's well done and a story that deserves to be told, and lots of recognisable faces give it a very able cast. For what it's worth, Mendelsohn portrays a very different Murdoch than the one we know - he's more like Richard Branson in his enthusiasm, idealism, and willingness to use public opinion to influence policy.

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