A group of troubled boys are on a perilous course towards jail until they meet up with the free-wheeling ex-jackaroo and youth worker, Bernie Shakeshaft, and hit the road with his legendary dog jumping team.
This observational documentary filmed over two years follows boys in a youth program that Bernie runs from a shed on the outskirts of Armidale, a rural town in Australia.
On the road, the boys find their voice, make great friendships and the dogs become champions.
But as they sleep under the stars at night, their experiences of trauma are never too far away.
With their futures at stake, they must constantly step up, push themselves and support each other and some days can be hard.
This inspiring coming of age story reveals the challenges and triumphs the boys face as they try to find their place in the world, and the dogs that help them tame their wild ways.
When Backtrack Boys is being used as a resource in secondary schools, teachers should be aware that it is most suited to senior secondary students (Years 9-12). Additionally, they are strongly encouraged to consider the cross-curriculum relevance of Backtrack Boys.
Collaboration with other teachers to establish links for students across curriculum areas may be highly beneficial.
The following Australian Curriculum links should therefore not be considered exhaustive:
- Senior Secondary English (Unit 1)
- Year 10 English
- Year 9 & 10 Civics and Citizenship
- Year 10 Geography
- Year 10 Media Arts
- Year 9 & 10 Health & Physical Education
Running time: 100 mins
The Backtrack Boys study guide is available to download here. The Backtrack Boys Workbook is also available to download here.
Backtrack Boys is available to stream here.
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