A hard-drinking but hard-working gun shearer leads a group of Outback sheep herders into striking after wealthy landowners attempt to drive them from their territory.
User Reviews: There’s a slow moving shot halfway through SUNDAY TOO FAR AWAY taken from inside the shearing shed looking through a window out into the yard. The camera pans across the yard before pulling back into the shearing shed, rising as it continues panning across the shed interior, following the action before settling on a particular character. It’s a beautiful shot and a lovely example of the stunning cinematography that gives the film a palpability in which you can really feel the heat, dust and flies.
I watched the film for the first time this evening and was blown away by its lyricism, claustrophobia and grandeur. I grew up on a dairy and sheep farm in 1970s Northern Victoria when the kind of hard working, hard talking, hard drinking labourers who travel where the work is was still very much a cultural tradition in country Australia. The people in this film display an authenticity, brashness, sense of humour, bravado, timidity and mateship that is readily recognisable. It all feels genuine. It’s no wonder the film was so readily embraced by Australians on its initial release.
Aspects of the film also reminded me of Tim Burstall’s 1979 film, LAST OF THE KNUCKLEMEN in its exploration of class in a tough homosocial workplace culture. There’s also a humorous bum-wiggling scene that reminded me of a shot from another Jack Thompson film, THE SUM OF US (Burton 1994) in which he is vigorously stirring a saucepan over a stove. I would not be surprised to learn that the shot in THE SUM OF US is a homage to SUNDAY TOO FAR AWAY.