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Cunnamulla (VHS) Email This Page
Filmmaker: Dennis O'Rourke
VHS - $ 195.00
Price listed includes Public Performance License.
Cunnamulla, 800 kilometres west of Brisbane, is the end of the railway line. In the months leading up to a scorching Christmas in the bush, there's a lot more going on than the annual lizard race.

Arthur patrols the sunbaked streets in his Flash Cab, the only taxi in town. He's as terse as the company motto -- "no cash, no Flash." His wife Neredah knows everyone's business and tells it all. "My father told me never to marry anyone from the end of the line, -- they just jump off here and you don't know where they've come from," she says.

Marto, the local DJ, is into heavy metal and body piercing. He dreams of making it big with his band. His girlfriend Pauline sticks up for him, but her parents don't approve. Jack, a pensioner who adopted Marto as a baby, wants him to get a steady job with the local council.

Cara and Kellie-Anne have dropped out of school. They're trying not to get pregnant and longing for the day they can escape to the city. Paul is just 18 and about to go to jail for the first time. Herb, the scrap merchant who lives alone with his dogs and guinea fowls, wages endless battles with the "bloody government." Now he's at odds with Ringer, the tow's official dog-catcher and undertaker.

In Cunnamulla, Aboriginal and white Australians live together but apart. Creativity struggles against indifference, eccentricity against conformity. Daily dramas unfold.

Famous country-and-western singer Slim Dusty is coming to town, a teenage concert pianist is touring with her pet cat, and Santa Claus is on his way.

Sometimes sad, often hilarious, Cunnamulla is an astonishingly honest portrait of life in a small, isolated outback community.

Direct Cinema Limited distribute the films of Dennis O'Rourke for use in the USA and Canada only. To order the films for use in all other parts of the world, please contact Camerawork Pty Ltd.

Running time: 82 min., Year released: 2001
Close captioned?: N, Color?: Y
Avail. formats: VHS
ISBN: 1-55974-653-X
Language: English, Subtitled?: N
For classroom?: Y, Study Guide?: N
Grade level: 12th and up


"An amazing, jaw dropping excursion into territory which may not be pretty but is dreadfully real."
--Richard Kuipers, Urban Cinefile

"Certain to provoke controversy, Cunnamulla is arguably Dennis O'Rouke's most powerful and subversive work... a vivid, disturbing, unforgettable portrait."
Andrew Urban, Urban Cinefile

"Well-made...O'Rourke depicts the title Queensland town as a place peopled entirely by characters who are desperately marginalized or terrifyingly reactionary...well-constructed."

"O'Rourke's tour-de-force portrait of the wacky, endearing, sometimes-heartbreaking people living in a small town of Queensland."

Other Credits:

Produced and Directed by Dennis O`Rourke
Executive Producers: Stefan Moore and Chris Oliver
Cinemtography: Dennis O`Rourke, Simon Smith
Editors: Dennis O`Rourke, Andrea Lang
Music Supervisor: Christine Woodriff
Best Documentary, Hollywood Documentary Film Festival; "Outstanding Achievement in Documentary 2001", Urban Cinefile; Doc Soup 2002; "Best Documentary", Film Critics Circle of Australia 2001; "Best Achievement in Direction in a Documentary", AFI Awards 2001
This title can also be found in: Australasian Culture, Australian Culture & History, Cultural Studies, Holidays, O'Rourke, Dennis -- Films By

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