Recommended Films from Australia/Oceania on Poverty


Boy (2010) New Zealand (forum discussion about poverty in the film)

Set in the 80’s in a rural Maori community, Boy is a Michael Jackson loving kid with a lively imagination. Raised by his grandmother because of an absent father and a mother who died in childbirth, Boy likes to think his father is a great man, absent for good reasons. When his father shows up looking for a stash of money he buried in town many years ago, the two get a chance to reconnect.


Mr. Pip (2012) Papua New Guinea

Hugh Laurie stars as a teacher of a poor rural school in war-torn 
Bougainville in Papua New Guinea. Introducing his class to Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, a young woman, Matilda, becomes inspired by the character of Pip and writes the name in the sand. The name is then assumed by the local militia to be the leader of the local rebels.

Sunday Too Far Away (1975)

Sheep shearing workers at a sheep run in the outback pick a leader and strike in the face of poor working conditions and threats that they will lose their lands and work. Side narratives include the hiring of the sheep run’s first real chef.

The Castle (1997)

Facing the expansion of the airport, the Kerrigans are at risk of losing their quirky, but beloved home. A comedy, this film attends to the ridiculous family’s penchant for adding on hodgepodge luxuries to their strange home and their pride in defending it against the government.

The Jammed (2007)

Sunee, searching for her daughter and five other Chinese women who have been sold as sex workers in Melbourne, enlists the help of insurance clerk Ashley. As the Ashley searches, she becomes deeply embroiled in the dangerous world of crime and immigrant sex trafficking.

Satellite Boy (2012)

A ten year old boy and his best friend travel across the desert on a harrowing journey to the city to save their home which is threatened by a new mining company threatening to take the land and bulldoze their abandoned movie theater/home where he lives with his aboriginal grandfather.

The Rover (2014)

A dystopian film set after a devastating global economic crisis, The Rover follows Eric whose car is stolen by two brothers—one of whom gets abandoned and assists Eric—on Eric’s attempt to regain his car—his only possession. Robert Ebert: “It’s the images of “The Rover” that linger—a truck flipping by a window, a man collapsing under the interrogation of another, a gun sale that ends in violence, the climax. Most of all, it’s an image of two unlikely travelers walking down dusty roads, looking for any sort of societal structure, old-fashioned hope, or even just a night’s sleep that isn’t ended by a threat, but knowing with every step not just how much was lost in the collapse but that they still have to go on.”

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

In this post-apocalyptic world, gas and water are scarce and the remaining citizens are ruled by a cruel and almost inhuman tyrant, Immortan Joe, who keeps enslaved women for breeding his heirs. Max escapes servitude to join up with Furiosa in her quest to escape with several rescued sex slaves to her mother’s homeland. They escape only to find that their only option is to confront the tyrant and retake Immortan Joe’s city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *