The second festival film is the World Premiere of Mabo. The director, cast & crew in the audience, also a fairly large contingent of the Mabo family including wife Bonita.
The film is delayed while they get the sold out audience in to the cinema. Many seats were vacant with many of my fellow subscribers opting to head home and catch the
film on tv this Sunday night.
The film itself is brilliant Deborah Mailman and Jimi Bani play Bonita and Eddie respectively. The film is about the relationship between the two over the course of their life together and the way their lives were intertwined with the two landmark cases fought in Queensland and the Federal High Court.
Bani and Mailman are mesmerising and the use of archival news footage is used to maximum advantage. A film that successfully and deliberately makes the public personal. Emotionally charged and so well executed. It was a privilege to see it under these circumstances.
The films end was greeted by a lengthy standing ovation - possibly more for the woman (Bonita) and the absent man (Eddie) than for the film. Possibly - it would be difficult to separate the experience of film itself from the screening with dignitaries that enhanced the emotional charge.
The experience of watching Bonita Mabo wipe tears from her eyes as she stood on the stage complimented and thanked the team - thanking me - when addressing Mailman was moving. She discussed sitting down with the writer Sue Smith and sharing the stories the laughter and the tears - this is the strength of the film it is at its core about two people, not saints, a passion for standing up for what one believes in and a passion for each other that endured.
Perkins the talented and driven director was humble claiming messenger status but this work is excellent and deserves wider viewing. 4.5/5