Capsule Review – Emu Runner (Sydney Film Fest 2019)

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An understated and poignant charmer that packs a strong punch, thanks to director Imogen Thomas‘ deft direction, a wonderful debut performance by Rhae-Kye Waites and its illuminating examination of cultural differences and racial tensions in rural Australia, all within the viewpoint of an 8-year old girl grieving over the sudden loss of her mother.

The cinematography by Michael Gibbs is crisp, the settings are striking and the supporting cast (including Georgia Blizzard and Top End Wedding director Wayne Blair) all lend credibility to the material. As for its flaws, the film does become a bit didactic at times with its dialogue and the script becomes cliched with stereotypes (Blizzard’s character as the social worker) and the ending is quite formulaic, if well-done nonetheless.

Overall, Emu Runner is a very good effort from director Thomas that I hope will mark great things for her in the future.


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