Another slice of outback noir from the director of Mystery Road
This follow-up to 2013’s Mystery Road proves an equally compelling slice of Outback Noir from Australian director Ivan Sen.
Detective Jay Swan – a taciturn performance by Aaron Pederson – rolls into the rural town of Goldstone drunk and bereft. Sent in to find a missing Chinese girl – and cutting a very different figure from the one in Mystery Road – he soon finds himself confronted by an indifferent local sheriff, a sinister mayor (Jacki Weaver, all icy smiles) and the rapacious manager of the local goldmine complete with his own private security forces.
Working in the tradition of classic western cinema – in which the appearance of a lawman from the surrounding desert instigates a series of revelations and bloody shoot-outs – Sen’s film manipulates genre conventions to provide a measured examination of Australia’s colonial past and of the current issues blighting indigenous communities. That he manages to do so without sacrificing the thrills of the genre is testament to the film.
Goldstone screened at Glasgow Film Festival