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Bran Nue Dae | 2009 | PG-13 | - 4.4.4

During the summer of 1965, an Australian Aboriginal teen (Rocky McKenzie) is mostly interested in his hometown of Broome and his girlfriend (Jessica Mauboy). All is ruined when she finds a new boyfriend (Dan Sultan), and he ends up in a school for fledgling priests, from where he soon runs away and meets a new friend (Ernie Dingo), while trying to figure out his life. Also with Ningali Lawford, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Budge, Missy Higgins, Deborah Mailman, Stephen Albert and Magda Szubanski. Directed by Rachel Perkins. [1:25]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A drunken woman offers a teen boy a drink and a look at a "condom tree": we see the woman and the tipsy boy lying under a tree with condoms blown up like balloons as decoration, she pulls the boy's shirt open, suggests sex, and her boyfriend pulls her away.
 An obese woman wears a very low-cut, thin dress that reveals significant cleavage; she flirts with a teen boy, a homeless man and a priest, inviting them in for a drink or a cup of hot tea, with emphasis on "hot"; later, she dances, shaking her body and bosom and twice she leans over a counter toward a customer, resting her bosom on the counter and revealing even more cleavage. A lake scene shows a man and a woman swimming in their underwear; she wears a bra and panties and he wears briefs. In 4 tavern scenes, several women wear scoop-necked blouses and dresses that reveal cleavage, bare arms and shoulders. Two women wear skirts with slits up one side to the waist, revealing a full leg and thigh and partial hip. In 2 scenes, a teen girl singer on stage wears a tight, dress with a low-cut neckline and long side slit that reveals her leg up to the hip and cleavage. Teen boys play soccer, and some of them shirtless. Five teen boys, wearing shorts and no shirts, spearfish. A male soccer team is shown shirtless and wearing short sporting shorts as they ride in a truck. In a dance number, we see men and teen boys of all ages wearing loincloths dancing in front of a campfire.
 A teen boy tells a teen girl he loves her and they kiss briefly twice. A teen girl flirts with a teen boy, smiling at him several times and tipping her head toward him; he smiles at her until his mother nudges him.
 A teen boy has 3 visions of a teen girl against a black background, with flames (of passion and temptation) around her shoulders and hair. In a dream, a teen boy sees a teen girl walking through wide rows of lit candles, with a glowing light around her that makes her appear angelic.
 A priest admits to having a son (now an adult) with an Aboriginal woman; the woman admits to this. A man laughs at a teen boy for being a virgin, and later tells the boy he can never get enough women at a boarding school. A teen boy goes to Catholic confession and admits lustful thoughts to the priest, who tells him that he is human but will overcome them and must say 10 Rosaries to do penance. A mother tells her son that to be a priest he must train himself to ignore pretty girls. A man tells a teen boy that he knows the boy's mother as an aunt or sister or "something." Actors sing several love songs in a couple of scenes, mentioning being in love.
 A teen boy is shy and embarrassed when he talks to a teen girl in several scenes, and he stammers and looks down. A teen boy cries when he sees a teen girl walking with a man in his late 20s and cries in another scene when he sees her singing onstage in the man's bar.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man tells a teen boy to stay away from a teen girl, the boy pushes him away and runs after the girl, and the man follows and punches the teen in the stomach; the teen stomps on the man's foot, punches him in the stomach and face and walks away, and the man runs after the teen, spins him around and punches him in the jaw, knocking him to the ground.
 A man pulls a woman away from a teen boy lying on the ground and shouts at the teen to leave his woman alone; the teen stands up and the man punches him several times in the body, another man arrives, pulls the man away from the teen, and the two men fight: after taking two body blows, one man stomps on the other man's foot, punches him in the abdomen and the face and knocks him to the ground unconscious (we see no blood).
 A shop owner shoots a shotgun at a man and a teen boy, and misses as they run to a van with a man and a woman inside; they quickly drive away.
 Police officers struggle with 2 men at a police station, punching a teen boy in the stomach, and pushing people into outdoor cells for the night. A priest puts an 8-year-old boy in a headlock and smacks him slightly on the head.
 A young boy balances large Bibles in his palms, drops them, and he is derided by the priest and told to start over. A priest often threatens Aboriginal students in a boys' boarding school about misbehavior; he carries a paddle, which he slaps into his hand several times. In a classroom, a priest slaps a yardstick on his desk to scare his pupils. A priest threatens to punish an 8-year-old boy with a paddle if no one confesses to eating inventory from the canteen at night. A priest swings a paddle at a teen boy's outstretched hand and misses when the teen pulls his hand away.
 A man walks into a street and is struck by a van: a woman inside the van shouts, the people in the van drive the man and a teen boy toward a town, they argue about whether the man was really hurt, throw the man and boy out, and the man points an animal bone at the van, mumbles a few words and the van stops working and emits a puff of smoke. A man is nearly struck by a passing car. A teen boy runs away from a school and is chased by a priest in a car.
 A man catches a snake and uses it to replace a broken fan belt in a van (we do not see the snake die). A man and a teen boy steal raw sausages from a shop and we see them fall out of the boy's long shorts -- they resemble defecation.
 A van swerves as its occupants smoke a drugged cigarette and two police officers in an official truck pull them over and arrest them.
 Six men in a shed upturn their card table when a teen girl sneaks up and yells loudly to scare them. An old man and teen boy argue about money.
 A boy vomits, suffering from a hangover after drinking whiskey the night before.


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LANGUAGE 4 - 2 scatological references, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (dullards, Blacks, abomination, Aborigine, loose women, boy, old man, little boy, little friend, virgin, square, hippie, boy, old man), 54 stereotypical references to Australian Aborigines, Blacks, Germans, Country Western singers, hippies, homeless men, teen boys, teen girls, women, men, Catholicism, Catholic priests, protestant pastors, boarding schools, churchgoing people, non-drinkers, 1 religious profanity, 19 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman smokes a cigarette while dancing and staggering (the cigarette is likely marijuana and is passed among a man, a teen boy and an old man). A teen boy drinks whiskey offered to him by a man, a cartoon man drinks from a wine bottle, several men and women drink beer and wine and glasses of alcohol, men and woman dance while they drink in a bar, a homeless man drinks from a wine bottle and other men drink from wine and beer bottles, a man buys a bottle of whiskey and a separate drink in a package store, a drunken woman offers a teen boy a drink and they share a bottle of whiskey, 3 men sit on benches and drink wine from bottles, a man steals a bottle of wine from a general store, a group of homeless men sit around a campfire under a highway bridge at night and we see the ground littered with empty wine and beer bottles, and a boy vomits after drinking whiskey the night before. A cartoon man smokes a cigarette, six men around a card table smoke cigarettes, and a woman smokes a cigarette in a store.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Class and racial differences, Australian Aboriginal rights, religions, the Catholic priesthood, celibacy, breaking rules, marriage, children, infidelity, families, friends, making choices, reconciliation, and finding one's own way.

MESSAGE - The best place to be is one's homeland.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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