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Hot Docs 2016 Review: Putuparri and the Rainmakers


Playing as a part of the Hot Docs Made in Australia program, (perhaps a nod to the nationality of its new head programmer), Putuparri and the Rainmakers is a captivating and stunning film. That said, it suffers from an issue that it possibly could not foresee, which is that the subject matter, and indeed, its lead character, Putuparri Tom Lawford, feel very similar in tone to the recent film Charlie’s Country.

This similarity could obviously not been have foreseen by director Nicole Ma, who worked on this film for over a decade. Putaparri Tom Lawford is an extremely compelling lead, emotional, frank and forthcoming, both about struggles with alcoholism, and the future (and past) of the land of Fitzroy Crossing and the watering hole of Kurtal in Western Australia. There is a real sense of sharing within the Aboriginal community; and the film dares to examine what will happen if the community were to disappear. In other words, the future can be as unpredictable as the coming rainfall. Ma’s captured images are incredibly stunning too.

[star v=35]