Last night was the opening of the 2004 Australian Film Festival in Taipei down at the Leofoo Cineplex put together by the Australian Mission. The food was great, the speeches short but the movies might leave you thinking the audience thinking Australia is contentedly white all the way from Ned Kelly to Lantana. Besides Japanese Story, about which Olvia Khoo at RealTime says “joins an array of prominent Australian films from the last 3 decades in which Asian characters are ‘sacrificed’ for the sake of the white protagonists’ emotional fulfillment.”, there was a depressing lack of what Australia jingoistically prides itself on: multiculturalism.
I asked the (‘not-the-‘) Consul General why such truely Australian films like Fat Pizza weren’t in the festival, …ummm… Discussing this in the taxi with some other Australian artists on the way to the next opening for the evening, we put together the other Australian Film Festival: (in no particular order) Fat Pizza, Death in Brunswick, He Died With a Falafel in his Hand, Bad Boy Bubby and the collected works of Brian Trenchard-Smith.
The Australian Film Festival in Taipei runs from the 13-19 November.