“I love it when Australians pretend that we’re not a racist country,” says writer/director, Abe Forsythe, of his new film, Down Under. “Racism exists throughout the world, but there’s something about the kind that simmers within us that sets us apart. As a nation, we all tolerate or participate in an informal, throw-away kind of racism…which [apparently] makes it okay. We think it’s harmless, so we don’t actually do anything about it. The thing that makes Aussies so lovable and laid-back is actually inherently damaging in this instance.”
A black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, Down Under is the story of two carloads of hotheads – one filled with righteous Anglo Aussies, and the other with equally pissed off boys from Middle Eastern backgrounds – set on a collision course. A volatile mix of in-your-face humour and no-holds-barred social commentary, Down Under is provocative in the best kind of way, peeling back the layers on Australia’s under-the-surface racism, while never losing its sense of humour, or losing touch with its characters.
In a nice touch, the film’s marketing materials have followed the film’s lead, with a series of outdoor posters boasting a canny mix of laughs and pointed commentary. “They’ve come up with a brilliant execution,” Abe Forsythe tells B&T of the campaign, which was created by ad agency, The Monkeys. “It walks that difficult line, but does it with a sense of provocation and humour that makes us look at the issue in a different way. Just like the movie itself. I can genuinely say that working with everyone at the agency was one of the creative highlights of the six-year process that it took me to make this movie.”
Check out the Down Under outdoor ad campaign below:
For FilmInk’s review of Down Under, click here. FilmInk Presents will be holding a special screening of Down Under on August 4 in Brisbane. For all information, click here. Down Under plays at The Melbourne International Film Festival on August 6. To buy tickets to Down Under, head to the official website. Down Under will be released in cinemas on August 11.