Australian Rules

Watch Australian Rules

  • 2002
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 6.7  (846)

Australian Rules is a coming-of-age drama film that was released in 2002, directed by Paul Goldman and based on the novel Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne. The movie explores themes such as identity, race, and the significance of community, set against the backdrop of a small town in South Australia. The story follows two teenage boys, Gary Black (Nathan Phillips) and Dumby Red (Luke Carroll), who are members of opposing local football teams. Gary is a white boy from a working-class family, while Dumby is an Aboriginal boy who is part of the local Indigenous community. Despite these differences, the two boys form an unlikely friendship that is tested as they confront the prejudices and racial tensions of their community.

As Gary navigates his way through adolescence, he struggles with his own sense of identity and belonging. He is drawn towards the Indigenous community, particularly through his connection with Dumby and his family, but also feels the pressure to conform to the expectations of his own social group. Meanwhile, Dumby faces his own set of challenges as he becomes the target of racial abuse and discrimination from the wider community, including some members of Gary's family and football team.

Throughout the movie, we see the complexities of these relationships and the impact that they have on both boys. The arrival of a new teacher, Kate (Lisa Flanagan), provides a catalyst for change as she encourages the boys to question their assumptions and biases, and to see the world from each other's perspective. As the town prepares for the upcoming football grand final, tensions reach boiling point and the community is forced to confront long-standing divisions and prejudices.

One of the strengths of Australian Rules is the way in which it portrays the complexities and nuances of racial tensions in small-town Australia. The film does not shy away from the realities of discrimination and exclusion, but also shows the underlying humanity and shared experiences of different groups within the community. By exploring these themes through the lens of sport, the movie also highlights the ways in which sports can bring people together, but also create divisions and tensions.

Another strength of the movie is the performances of the lead actors. Nathan Phillips and Luke Carroll give powerful and nuanced performances as the two boys at the centre of the story. They are supported by a strong cast, including Lisa Flanagan as the passionate and empathetic teacher, and Kevin Harrington as the conflicted and troubled coach of Gary's football team.

Overall, Australian Rules is a thought-provoking and emotionally charged movie that deals with important themes in a sensitive and nuanced way. It offers a compelling portrayal of race, identity and community, and challenges viewers to question their own assumptions and biases. The film is a must-watch for anyone interested in the complexities of Australian identity and the challenges facing Indigenous communities.

Australian Rules is a 2002 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

Australian Rules
Where to Watch Australian Rules
Australian Rules is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download on demand at . Some platforms allow you to rent Australian Rules for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (846)