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Australia (ATOM Study Guide)

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SKU: SG455
Year Levels: 7-12
Streaming Content: Australia

Baz Luhrmann's Australia (2008) is an epic adventure set in the Northern outback of Australia in the late 1930s and 1940s. The story brings together people from many backgrounds and walks of life, from the English aristocracy to the rough-hewn outback drovers and the Indigenous people of Australia. There is a transforming journey, romance, war, greed mistreatment, heroism, tragedy and triumph. The story traverses some of the most beautiful and inhospitable country in the remote north of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Curriculum relevance
The film will be of interest to many people – fans of Baz Luhrmann (director of Strictly Ballroom [1992], Romeo + Juliet [1996] and Moulin Rouge! [2001]), fans of the Epic style of moviemaking in the tradition of Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939), and fans of Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman who play the romantic leads. However, the film is much more than a sweeping epic romance. It deals honestly and sensitively with a period in Australia's history when Indigenous Australians were dispossessed of their land, their children and their human rights. This theme of dispossession runs strongly through the film, not just in relation to the Indigenous people.

Many students would find Australia entertaining and informative – a romance set in Australia's recent past telling a story about both the country and the different races and people who make up that history.

There are several subject areas where this film will have relevance, including English, Australian History, Geography and Film Studies.

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