Film: Darkside, The (2013)

April 24, 2014 | By


Darkside2013_poster_bFilm: Very Good

Transfer:  n/a  Extras: n/a

Label: n/a

Region: n/a

Released:  n/a

Genre:  Documentary / Hot Docs 2014

Synopsis: Deceptively simple compendium of ghostly encounters with Australia’s aboriginal people as retold by actors.

Special Features:  n/a




Director / cinematographer Warwick Thornton applies a very low-key approach to documenting sightings of and interactions with aboriginal ghosts in Australia, often locking off his camera and letting seated or standing actors (including the venerable Bryan Brown) perform highly personal recollections (presumably) transcribed from original interviews.

Darkside mandates patience – most of the on-camera performances have little or no edits – but that also makes them rather gripping, especially when recollections of late night curiosities and oddness quickly segue into sometimes chilling encounters (especially a religious-themed memory involving a wall-climbing demon).

Thornton’s film is part ghost tale anthology and a stealth history of the mistreatment of aboriginals during the 20th century, and he builds tension using words, clever edits, and rather sneaky use of dead screen space. Beautifully filmed in wide 2.35:1 with a restrained yet strategic use of sound design, The Darkside offers a little art, a little culture, and creepy tales of humans connecting with a netherworld.



© 2014 Mark R. Hasan



External References:
IMDB  —  Hot Docs 2014 Listing
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Category: Blu-ray / DVD Film Review

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