I am often asked if I miss Australia, which is a stupid question to ask during the months of October to March in Sweden. So attending the premier of Australia, the new blockbuster movie by Baz Luhrmann, was not the best cure for homesickness this Monday night.
As the guests of the Australian Embassy and Fox, my wife and I braved the “glitter and glamour” of b-list celebrities and mass produced Aussie wine to be reminded that if Australia is big, Australia the movie is BIGGER.
Nicole Kidman competes on the screen with Hugh Jackman’s muscles and an adorable Aboriginal boy who generously shares his culture, dreamtime stories and land with the audience. If your previous favourite Aussie movie mostly featured Abba and drag queens then you will be knocked off your stilettos by Baz (the Aussie nickname for Barry) and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox’s vision of Darwin, Northern Territory in 1939.
There has been a lot of negative reviews coming out of the Australian media which can only be described as Tall Poppy syndrome (Jantelagen of Australia) and jealousy at the huge budget. Ignore all you hear and read. How could you make a movie named after the world’s largest island on an independent movie’s budget?
Go and see the movie, don’t wear your RM Williams boots and mole skins, put on comfortable gear as the movie is long but rivetting. Be amazed by the grandeur and size of Australia’s far north, at the bravery and courage that characterises Antipodeans and save a thought for the shame my country bears for how it has treated its indigenous people but has now sought to apologise to and reconcile with.
Poor Fellas Rum is the drink of choice in the movie as this is 1939 – a good 45 years before we Aussies started our domination of the world wine market. Enjoy Australia as it was and enjoy drinking Australia as it is now!
Thanks to Baz, Rupert, Fox, Australian Embassy / Austrade and the Japanese airforce for a great evening.
ps. A life lived in fear is a life half lived – thanks for the great motto Baz!