Black And White

Released by AV Channel – Madman.

This dramatisation of a true story from 1950s Australia is utterly compelling, set as it is in South Australia at a time when the country as a whole was still very much influenced by English morals and the English class system.

When a 9 year old girl is raped and murdered in Ceduna Beach the local police quickly pick up illiterate Aborigine Max Stuart (played by David Ngoombujarra) and charge him with the crime; Enter defence lawyers David OSullivan (a superb as always Robert Carlyle) and Helen Devaney (Kerry Fox) who are convinced the boy is innocent, used as a scapegoat by the police to bring the crime to a quick close, Charles Dance plays the extremely arrogant Roderic Chamberlain the prosecuting lawyer out to prove Stuart guilty.

This is an important movie, certainly a drama with a lot of points to make, questioning the whole legal system and the idea that a coppers word is not always true. Theres also a surprising appearance by a young Rupert Murdoch (Ben Mendelsohn) as a championer of truth and justice. Black and White (a dual edged title covering not just questions of race but also the ambiguous line of truth) has a huge amount to recommend it, from its performances by the leading players to its period setting to its leaving you something to think about.

EXTRAS: A short interview with the real Max Stuart, featurette talking to many of the cast and crew, soundtrack excerpts, theatrical trailer and some DVD Rom stuff such as a teachers study guide and a lecture by the Hon Justice Michael Kirby.