TrustMovies first visited Australia back in the 1970s, writing an article about the re-emergence of the Aussie film industry on the international scene, while simultaneously realizing how much like America was our brother country down under -- from its interests and economy to its sports mania, racism (including how it treated, historically, its own indigenous population) and so much more. It seemed perhaps a decade behind us on topics such as women's rights but was sure to catch up eventually. Watching the 2012 film AROUND THE BLOCK -- making its America debut this coming Tuesday via DVD, VOD and Digital -- it struck me how much has changed (a far greater amount of inter-marriage between aboriginals and Caucasians), even as so much has remained the same (race, class and a huge economic division).
Sarah Spillane (shown at right), stars Christina Ricci (above and below, right) as a young woman who has taken a teaching job in Redfern, an inner-city area of Sydney, where she meets the usual challenges of this kind of environment: restless, often disinterested, kids; parents who are poor and/or maybe in prison; and an administration, the best hope of which is that everyone will just get through the school year intact (education in Australia and the U.S. seems rather similar, too).
Hunter Page Lochard, (above, left, and below) seen previously in Bran Nue Dae and The Sapphires but viewed to best advantage here. Around these two circle relatives and friends, along with former, present (and maybe future) lovers; teachers & administrators; criminals & prisoners.
Ursula Yovich (above, right) as mama Chrissie, Jack Thompson (who also doubled as Executive Producer on the film) as the school's chief administrator, Damian Walshe-Howling (below, left) as one of the teaching staff, Mark Coles Smith as Liam's hot-blooded brother; and Matt Nable as their prisoner dad.
Random Media and Cinedigm and running 104 minutes -- is worth seeing, however, and you can do that this Tuesday, August 5, when the film arrives on DVD, VOD and digital outlets.