This movie gives the feeling of being an epic as in films like Gone with the Wind or How the West was Won. The story begins in 1939 just as WWII is starting. Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) travels from Great Britain to Australia to meet her husband, Maitland, in northern Australia. The husband's drover (Jackman) takes her to the cattle station where they find Maitland murdered. The rest is your standard story of a woman forced to adapt to the situation, showing her strength of resolve to the doubting men around her, and winning the day and a new love. But there's more going on. The film also covers the sad treatment of the aborigines by the white settlers and does so as an integral part of the story line yet isn't preachy to the viewer. Also included is the devastating bombing of Darwin, Australia by the Japanese in Feb, 1942 (considered to be the "Pearl Harbor" of Australia), and not to forget, the bringing to justice of the murderer of Maitland. A very satisfying film with beautiful, scenic vistas of Australia's countryside. You'll find yourself pulling out an atlas while the film is running and then watching the "extras" on the DVD after the story is ended. Set the film to "subtitles" just to catch the slang, but the Australian accent is very understandable. -- recommended by Charlotte Kyriss - Bennett Martin Public Library
[If you liked this, you might like: Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington, 994.042 Pil or DVD Rabbit-Proof Fence. (FYI: In the film "Australia" we learned that half white-half aborigine children were forcibly removed from their families by the gov't and placed on an island to be re-educated and forget their families. This is the story of a girl and her two younger cousins who escape from that island and walk across Australia to return to their families using a white picket fence the gov't placed across Australia to try to thwart the rabbit population.) Or, The Far Country by Nevil Shute or DVD Shute. (FYI: Another romantic/adventure of Australia. A German doc is forced to work at a death camp for the Nazis then after the war is able to build a new life for himself in Australia. Of course he falls in love with someone but his hidden past may come to light.).]
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