Controversial film about Port Arthur massacre wins Cannes Film Festival award
Port Arthur Township Mayor Kelly Spaulding told SBS News the prize was tracing old wounds.
“I would have been happier if it had never been done,” she said of the film.
“It doesn’t help our region in a positive light. It still hurts a lot of us here and we don’t want any more negativity. People have the same feelings and it brings back the same memories.”
Thirty-five people were killed and 23 others were injured, when a sniper launched a shootout at the historic site of Tasmania in April 1996.
Rather than focusing on the violence, the film delves into the psychological reasons behind it and portrays the perpetrator’s existence before the murder.
Screenwriter Shaun Grant said he thought very carefully about how to approach the subject of the film.
“It took me a long time to decide to write it, it was an idea that had been in my head for many years and I was very worried because of the sensitivity of the subject, but it was something which I was very passionate about. and I think there is a very important message in the film, “he told reporters in Cannes.
During production, some massacre survivors expressed outrage at the film, raising concerns that it glorified the murderer.
In December of last year, Justin Woolley, a massacre survivor and real perpetrator, said Food that the film’s focus on the author of the horrible event is “tasteless”.
The language in this film announces that it will be a ‘study of one of the darkest chapters in Australian history’ and will focus on the study of a man driven to do something also horrible, immediately sounded the alarm, “Mr. Woolley said.
US actor Caleb Landry Jones said it was “rather intimidating” to play the role of a mass murderer.
“It was very obvious that people were going to be angry,” he told reporters in Cannes.
“Some people probably thought the movie was a certain type of movie. But it’s a very sensitive and very respectful piece.”
Film director Justin Kurzel said the play has a purpose.
“It’s hard to talk about it and it’s a painful memory,” he told the Cannes Film Festival.
“Remembering what happened in Australia that day dramatically changed gun laws and gun culture in Australia. I really hope this will start a discussion on how these horrible tragedies happen, in some countries it happens regularly. “
The tragic events prompted then-newly elected Prime Minister John Howard to introduce nationwide gun law reforms just 12 days after the shooting.
Mayor Spaulding said if a more in-depth discussion of gun law reform emerges from the film, it would be welcome.
“After sitting down with [film Director] Justin for a while it was a bit of a relief to focus on gun reform because good things come out of it.
“If this film promotes discussions abroad and we see reforms, hopefully it will save lives there; and that’s about all we can focus on, it’s those points. positive. “