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A ten-year-old boy living in a remote Aboriginal community becomes entangled in a gang war in this gritty portrait of reservation life from director Ivan Sen.
Director Ivan Sen (Beneath Clouds) returned to feature filmmaking after almost a decade with this powerful look at life on a mission (reservation) in New South Wales, Sen's home province. Set in the mission town of Toomelah, a tiny Indigenous community riven by poverty, addiction and violence, the film focuses on ten-year-old Daniel (Daniel Connors), who dreams of becoming a gangster like his idol, small-time hoodlum Linden (Christopher Edwards). When a rival gang leader returns from jail and seeks to reclaim his turf, Daniel finds himself caught in the middle, and is faced with a serious choice to make about his uncertain future. Filmed on location and featuring many of Toomelah's residents (including the extraordinary young lead Connors) in major roles, Toomelah is "incredibly moving . . . The kids' wide-eyed view of the depredations of their community, and the rough mob humour, are artfully juxtaposed, and the film as a whole is both memorable and very moving" (Filmink).