Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Thoughts on the Movie ‘Australia’


The land down under is the setting of the 2008 film, Australia and likely, it’s one that tends to fall prey to misconceptions. One of these is that it’s nothing more than a romanticized epic, which is true, yes, but also a misdirect. Don’t let the Gone with the Wind promos fool you, this one has gumption. It’s a beautiful story even though told in a land of unforgiving beauty that unfolds as a love story, but also one of loss, humor, and best of all, imagination. All of which eventually emphasize serious topics that remain relevant. australia movie thoughts

What we might not recognize in this film is the sometimes unpleasant ways the film depicts racism. Moviegoers are treated to quite the education even if this is in the loosest sense of the term.

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australia movie

Australia tells Lady Sarah Ashley’s story as she travels from her home country to the land her husband inhabits, trying to make a ranch prove successful. Upon her arrival, Sarah discovers that her husband died leaving her the only one with a claim to their land, only before she can return to England, she becomes an unwilling participant in a land dispute. Instead of packing it in, something bids Sarah remain in the foreign land and make a go!

The character of Sarah surprises with her openness (typically towards those considered “outcasts”) and obvious genuine willingness to love, and pull strength where no one else thinks she will.

During the writing of this, as I attempt to bring sense to these scribbles, one week in Sunday school, our class subject was cultures. This is specific to this topic in that these characters, and anyone, is a descendant of Adam and Eve. Hearing this gave me something interesting to think about because Australia dives into cultural backgrounds. Difference between what my class concludes and this is, as only Hollywood does, they make it about race. Without Adam and Eve, there is no human race. When you understand this, it’s an interesting truth to ponder.

Racial separation is one of the biggest “misunderstandings” in our culture today. It isn’t the color of our skin that makes us different, but rather our backgrounds. In general it’s us who create division, whether real or “imagined.” The world wants us to believe different. Society wants us to think that racism is a one-side deal, but what they pound into us and what we chose to believe is two completely different things. If we believe in God’s Word, that all creation is by Him, including Eve from Adam, then it follows that we have to consider all humans descend from them. The basis by which the world would have us live really comes down to one thing; prejudice.

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Amidst gorgeous cinematography, Australia tackles this very subject in some of its most heartless forms. Forms that involve a small child, a child Sarah unconditionally embraces. A boy searching for a place to call home. Even pre-dating WWII, many racial/social separations mark him so that he cannot find a safe place or love. Driving this home is seeing the semblance of security he does experience cruelly ripped from him.

australia movie

Being prejudiced is a foreign concept in my life. But the truth is, we are different: We, all of us are different. Whether this is simply the color of our hair, or personal convictions, this is normal. Irrespective of individual personalities, there are different races/language barriers because of how sin changed the world. To see it so simply spelled out in that one Sunday school session was fascinating, and makes it seem all the more ridiculous when we (society) still confront this today.

Isn’t it interesting that when we look to Biblical wisdom, and not accept what scientist’s say, in a roundabout way, just as young Nullah so wants, perhaps the greatest barrier which divides us is where we call home? 

What observations do you draw from the film; what do you pull from this film? Tell me all of your Australia movie thoughts!


Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Thoughts on the Movie 'Australia.' Making theme observations on the 2008 drama & sharing Australia movie thoughts. Text © Rissi JC
Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Thoughts on the Movie 'Australia.' Making observations about the themes of the 2008 Australia movie. #Movies #Opinions #Throwback Click To Tweet

Note: this article appeared in the archives five or more years earlier. Since moving to WordPress, 90% of the reviews, lists and articles need re-formats and/or other updates. Updated edits and changes to fit current formats have been made; it has new photos, and is republished. *A version of this is also in a past Femnista webzine.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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