Director of Photography: Warwick Thornton.

A Japanese tourist travels through the middle of Australia, on the trip of a lifetime. As the landscape descends into the darkness of the night, he is confronted by the Australian Coat of Arms that is revealed in a different light. Coat of Arms is a new film by Dylan River (Black Chook, Nulla Nulla).

With the award-winning Warwick Thornton behind the camera, the film elicits an intimacy that allows us to feel like we’ve somehow joined the tourists on their journey. Thornton’s camera beautifully weaves together remnants of past and present. River, much to his credit for a story tinged with personal relevance, avoids intellectualising while intelligently portraying an indescribably emotional journey.

It’s beautiful to watch how Thornton and River integrate subtle humour into the scenario, an obvious yet effective choice that helps drive home their ultimate vision for the Coat of Arms.

Reviewed at the 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).

Written by Vanessa Abbott. 

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Written by acmag

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