Officially selected for the Berlin Film Festival 2008, September is a moving coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of a turbulent and pivotal moment in Australia's past.
"An extraordinarily moving journey... this film will tear your heart out." Margaret Pomeranz
In his feature film debut, Australian director Peter Carstairs has created a deeply humane and touching portrait of friendship, family and identity. September is the first film to emerge from the Tropfest Feature Film Program, a production incentive established to expose and profile new Australian filmmaking talent.
Set in the West Australian wheat belt in 1968, September tells the story of two 16-year-old boys, one black and one white, whose pure and unaffected friendship begins to fall apart under the pressures of a changing social and political climate.
On a vast farm carved out of the rugged terrain, landowner Rick Anderson (Kieran Darcy-Smith: Two Hands) lives with his wife Eve (Alice McConnell: Mary Bryant) and his son, Ed (Xavier Samuel: 2:37). Ed has grown up with his best friend Paddy (Clarence John Ryan: Lockie Leonard), an Aboriginal boy. Paddy's family - his dad Michael Parker (Kelton Pell: One Night The Moon; Australian Rules) and mother Leena (Lisa Flanagan: Look Both Ways; Australian Rules) - live in a small dwelling near the Anderson homestead and work for Ed's father in exchange for lodging and basic supplies. Ed and Paddy spend their afternoons together laughing, reading, smoking and building their own make-shift boxing ring where they spar each day and dream of future glories. Their families attempt to maintain a friendship while grappling with social and racial boundaries.
Things change however when a new girl moves into the neighbourhood, Amelia (Mia Wasikowska: Suburban Mayhem) and Ed's starry-eyed crush proves divisive to his closeness with Paddy. At the same time, the national Aboriginal rights movement is gathering momentum and the delicate relationship between Michael and Rick cannot be sustained. For the first time, Paddy starts to see things as they really are.
With a superb script, outstanding performances and luminous cinematography, September reveals - layer by layer - the tumultuous human emotions beneath a segregated society in Australia's recent past. It is a deceptively simple story, understated yet impeccably structured, reflecting real human complexity. September is a haunting and evocative film about the power of friendship.
Extras include: Audio commentaries with cast and crew, a behind-the-scenes featurette and two short films directed by Peter Carstairs - Gate and Pacific.
Run Time: 120 mins