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Australia 1988
Directed by
Steve Jodrell
94 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Shame (1988)

Deborah Lee Furness plays a leather-clad, motorbike-riding female lawyer who comes up against country town 'boys-will-be-boys' yobbism that goes as far as, depending on social standing, overtly or tacitly, condoning rape. Horrified at what she finds she attempts to "empower" the town's women with tragic results.

Some will find the film overly tendentious in the way the combative lines are drawn (recalling the black/white opposition of the Western) but the film is interesting as a critique of Australian machismo. It was a predictable favourite with the feminist viewers, writers Beverly Blankeship and Michael Brindley firmly rejecting all attempts to change the script to please a wider audience and is in contrast to more conventional action-oriented Aussie biker films like Stone and Mad Max. Funded by West Australian private money rather than the usual government sources, unfortunately it was deemed ineligible for the AFI Awards due to poor print quality (it was shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm) and quickly went to video.




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