Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Australia the Movie: Synopsis, History and Comparisons

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In Australia, an aboriginal medicine man/witch doctor, King George was teaching a young aborigine named Nullah how to do various tasks in the Outback. When all of the sudden a group white men shoot King George with an arrow. Then, Nullah rides home on his horse to his home in Faraway Downs. He hears people coming and is scared that someone will take him away from his family, so he goes into hiding. However, the voices he hears and people he sees are Drover and Sarah. The property of Faraway Downs is Sarah’s and her husband’s. When Sarah goes into her property she finds that her husband has been killed and he is lying dead across a table.

Because of this Sarah decides she wants to sell her property to the Carney Empire. However, if Faraway Downs is sold, the company will have a monopoly over the cattle business. Sarah soon finds out from Nullah that Carney is stealing her cattle and driving them across the river. Soon after she hears the news she fires Fletcher (the current driver for her cattle) and hires Drover to drive in their 1,500 cattle. They need 7 people in all to successfully drive them all in so, Sarah, Nullah, his mother and grandmother, and an aborigine named Magarri offer their help.

They could still use one more person but no others are willing or capable. Then one morning the police appear at the house and are looking for Nullah and his mother who are hidden in the water tower. Sadly, his mother drowns in the tower because the tank filled up when one of the men used the faucet to cool down. Now Nullah is motherless so Sarah decides to give it a shot and raise him herself. She does not do a wonderful job of this because she does not have any children of her own. Fletcher creates a stampede by lighting the brush on fire and has the cows heading towards a cliff.

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Some fall off the cliff but many cows were saved because Nullah resorted to song and magic to stop the cattle. Fletcher is attempting to hurt their cattle and destroy their plans on saving Faraway Downs by killing cattle, burning items and poisoning waterholes. At a ball Carney attempts to convince Sarah to sell Faraway Downs to him. However, she refuses and tells him that it is no longer for sale. A few days later Fletcher pushes Carney into water where an alligator attacked and killed him. Also, Nullah goes missing. But Drover believes he is safe and protected by King George.

Unfortunately they are not safe and are caught by the police where Nullah is sent to the mission and King George is put in jail. There is a treat of war in the city of Darwin so the town is being evacuated. Sarah searches for Nullah and can hear his singing but cannot find him. He is being sent to another island to work on a mission. While Sarah is working at an Army radio headquarters Japanese planes bomb the headquarters and the building catches on fire. Also, the jail is hit and King George escapes. Drover thinks Sarah has died and rescues Nullah and the other children from the explosion on the island.

Sarah survives the explosion and is reunited with her love, Drover and Nullah. Afterwards, they return safely to their farm and all survive the explosions and save their cattle from Carney and Fletcher. Australia History During the 1930’s Germany was expanding its territory and in 1939 they threatened to invade Poland. Germany decided to disobey Britain and France when they told Germany that they would declare war if Poland was invaded. The Australian people do not approve of the German expansion and because they are a British nation they were pulled into the war along with Britain (www. nzacday. org).

Australia declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939 and joined the war in Europe to aid its Allies in the United Kingdom (www. worldwariihistory. com). Australia was forced to make a tough decision: to watch after homeland in case Japan attempted to expand its power, or send troops to aid England in the war. Because Japan pledged its neutrality and the British naval base in Singapore would stop any Japanese invasions towards Australia, they decided to commit itself to the European War. Australian troops were not prepared to fight and risk their lives in war.

This caused he Royal Australian Navy to be put under British control. They began to train and recruit men and they helped the Royal Air Force in the war against Germany (www. anzacday. org). During 1940 and 1941 troops in Australia helped capture Bardia and Tobruk in Libya because they saw action in North Africa and the Middle East. Once Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the war was brought closer to Australian homeland, Australia declared war on Japan. The most direct threat that Australia faced was New Guinea.

Thankfully, the Americans held off a naval attack on Australia at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. By the end of WWII, Australia has lost about 30,000 men and women (www. worldwariihistory. com). Also, the Indigenous people of Australia were driven out by the British and many were killed and driven out of their homes. The deaths of aborigines occurred because of the diseases spread by Europeans, the introduction of domestic animals destroyed many natural habitats and fighting in Tasmania. During the early 20th century laws were passed to segregate and protect aborigines.

This caused restrictions on where they could live, and work. Families were also broken up (www. australianexplorer. com). Also, during WWII aborigines under the age of five were taken from their homes by white men and sent to live with white families. The British did this because the Australian government thought their race lacked a solid future. The children were never reunited with their families (http://history. howstuffworks. com). Unfortunately after WWII the British wanted to ‘Europeanize’ them. In this case all rights were taken away from the aborigines.

During the 1960’s, the aborigines were given citizenship status but in 1972 they were given limited rights to their own land (www. australianexplorer. com). Australia Analysis During World War II in the 1930’s and 1940’s there are many similarities and differences in Australia the movie compared to the country’s real history. A similarity between history and Hollywood is that they both go into great detail on how horribly the British treated the aborigines of Australia. A difference between the two was how little detail the movie Australia went into when it came down to the war itself and its allies.

Throughout the movie the director, Baz Luhrmann does not focus on the key points of the outcome of WWII, the disaster and hardship it put on Australia, and the effects on its people and cities. A similarity of the treatment of aborigines is that in the movie the aborigines were taken away from their families and homes. This was known as the Stolen Generation in Australia. During the movie they were sent away to work on missions on different islands and were rarely seen again by their families.

Although this did occur in reality the children were mainly forcefully sent or tricked into living with a white family. The parents were sometimes unaware that their children were even still alive. The government would often tell them their child had died. Where in reality they are living with a white family so they have a chance at a better future. A difference between the movie Australia and reality is how little detail Baz Luhrmann displays on the actual war itself. Throughout the entire movie except for the end, the main idea is focused on cattle and the Stolen Generation.

However during the end, WWII begins to take place and the movie displays the war aspect. It does not explain how the war began, the final result, or the results on Australian people. The war began in Germany because they tried to expand their territory into Poland. France and Britain declared war and because Australia was British territory they also joined in the fight. The movie did include when Japan attacked close to Australia at Pearl Harbor, which caused them to go to war against each other. By the end WWII Australia lost about 30,000 men and women.

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