Snowtown is the dramatized account of events that occurred in Australia between 1992 and 1997.
The movie is set in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, a middle of nowhere kind of place. The central character of the film is teenager Jamie Vlassakis. Jamie lives with his mother and brothers in a community that seems for the most part to be an Aussie Hicksville.
When Jamie and his younger brothers are taken advantage of, their mother flies into a rage at the offending neighbour. But being on her own there is not much she can do and the police appear to be no help. Then Jamie’s mother is introduced to a man called John Bunting who on the face of it seems like a godsend to the family. Bunting ensures that the offending neighbour leaves and starts to play the role of a likeable, father-figure and man about the house for the family. Jamie begins to grow an attachment with Bunting but slowly yet fiercely becomes embroiled in progressively disturbing scenarios.
The small town isolation, the witch hunts, the dark conspiracies all add to a sense of alienation for the viewer.
Snowtown is a seriously dark film, uncomfortable to watch - it takes you on a real one-way roller coaster ride where you feel you are forever plunging into the depths. It’s definitely not a date movie or for the faint-hearted. I found its uncompromising style and attempt to show the level of brutality a little heavy handed with scenes drawn out for maximum effect. I think there is a line between realistic portrayals and torturous voyeurism and I felt the movie overstepped the mark by a long way.
Snowtown is in cinemas from 18 November
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