SWEET AS

★★★★

SOON-TO-BE AUSTRALIAN CLASSIC

INNER WEST FILM FEST REVIEW
By Lily Meek
21st May 2023

First Nations films are fundamental to truth-telling, raw in their honesty, and facilitate emotional channels and representation of experiences. As a Koori woman, this can be confronting when dealing with certain subject matter, however it is important for broader audiences to engage from an emotional and reflective standpoint.

'Sweet As' was an honest conversation - it didn't shy away from realistic issues mob face, but it also laid out, in full, the beauty of being a blakfulla without pandering to white audiences. It was joyous to see a Blak coming-of-age film with a fun tone, great music, beautiful Country, and a strong female lead.

'Sweet As' follows the story of Murra (Shantae Barnes-Cowan, 'Wyrmwood: Apocalypse', in a stunning performance), an Aboriginal girl from the Pilbara, who after experiencing troubles at home goes on a photography safari with other teenagers. In the midst of exploring her passion for photography, Murra learns a bit more about herself, growing up and connection.

SWITCH: 'SWEET AS' TRAILER

This is Jub Clerc's debut as a feature film director and co-writer. To sum up the movie in one word, it's refreshing. This movie is written with authenticity and purpose. Its appeal is universal - all Australians can watch it - but it doesn't gloss over the Blak experience or condense topics so white people might better understand various scenarios; no over-explanations of cultural practice, no hyped-up Blak dialogue and a beautiful positive and relatable character arc for Murra.

Katie Milwright blows it out of the park with outstandingly beautiful shots of Country. Emoting the landscape alongside Murra's journey and emphasising the emotions and spirit of the Pilbara.

We need these films circulating in this country - stand out, relatable yarns for teenagers that also outline the differences of Aboriginal youth experiences. That's the beauty of this movie, its effortless exploration of the teenage experience through different lenses. Jub Clerc proves to Australian creatives everywhere that mainstream cinema can deliver classics with universal appeal and First Nation storytelling... and well, I think that's pretty killer.

Click here to enter our 'Sweet As' giveaway.

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