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BFI London Film Festival 2017: Goldstone Review


By on 13/10/2016

Goldstone opens with a montage of old photographs telling the history of Chinese settlers working during the gold rush in days far gone. This sets the tone of the Goldstone in that it is going to be deeply set in immigration & settlers and that it’s not going to be your typical thriller


It’s a slow burn Australian outback noir film that in many ways feels like a dream unfolding in front of your eyes

The film

The first scene of the film opens with our protagonist Jay Swan, the indigenous detective from the first movie Mystery Road arriving in the mining town Goldstone. He gets pulled over for drunk driving by sheriff of the town Josh. This is their first of many interactions whilst Jay is on assignment searching for a missing Asian girl who he suspects someone in the mining company is responsible for her disappearance


What unravels is a mystery involving corruption, people traffic, and prostitution. But on a deeper level Goldstone is so much more. It’s a film about indigenous culture, racism, and the loss of their land & culture. This leads to some beautiful and breath taking scenes where Jay is taken on a boat ride to some ancient aboriginal sites by the local leader which is deeply spiritual


The outback itself plays a major role in this thriller. Goldstone is full of beautiful drone shot views of the landscape which are breath taking. The movie gave me a new perspective of the vastness and beauty of the Australian outback. Goldstone is a film lead as much by the cinematography & music as much as the dialogue and story. The one man army Ivan Sen writes, directs, film and composes his movies


Another real standout performance in Goldstone is by Jackie Weaver who plays the mayor of Goldstone. She has such a piercing look in her eye it is scary. Never before have a seen a scene where being offered a slice of pie can be spooky


In conclusion

As well as being a slow burn noir thriller & movie about indigenous culture Goldstone also has its fair amount of action. There are intense and blackly comic shootouts and cars chases throughout the movie
Goldstone is a film that will stick with you for days afterwards with its beautiful imagery
Outback noir, beautiful scenery and action goldstone has them all and then some. It’s highly recommended. I had never seen the first movie Mystery Road and it’s not required to see this movie, but I’ll definitely go back and watch it after seeing this amazing movie


The London Film Festival screening

Ivan Sen was in attendance at the London Film Festival where he spoke about being an indigenous filmmaker and the process of filmmaking. I’ll definitely be looking out for more of his movies in the future