Slam MA 15+
After the psychological thrills of Mumbai-set drama Sunrise (MIFF 2015), Partho Sen-Gupta returns with a raw look at racial divisions in Sydney’s western suburbs.
Following a proudly feminist, anti-racist slam poetry performance, young Palestinian-Australian woman Ameena Nassar (Danielle Horvat) disappears without a trace. With the media dubbing her an Islamic terrorist, and police far from helpful, her older brother Ricky (Adam Bakri, so memorable as the title character in the Oscar-nominated Omar, which screened at MIFF 2013) is thrust back into a world he thought he had escaped.
With a narrative that could’ve been ripped from the headlines, Indian-born, Australian-based Sen-Gupta’s third feature was inspired by the writer/director’s increasing dismay at the rise of xenophobic attitudes both within Australia and around the globe. Anchored by strong performances and told across parallel storylines, Slam unfurls as a battle of words – between those driven to speak out, online trolls and the easily frenzied media.
“A powerful punch to the solar plexus … notices things that others would rather just skim over, like the kind of racism that blends right in with everyday life, so well that you hardly notice it anymore.” – Cineuropa