Archive of films Black and White / Black and White

Australia / United Kingdom
2002, 102 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2003

The film is set in 1959 in South Australia and is based on real events. It treats a famous court case which completely changed legal procedures and policing in Australia. An Aborigine named Max Stuart is accused of raping and murdering a nine-year-old girl. His case is taken up by a young lawyer.


The film is set in 1959 in Adelaide in South Australia and is based on real events. It treats a famous court case which completely changed legal and police procedures in Australia. An Aboriginal named Max Stuart is accused of raping and murdering a nine-year-old girl; his defence is more or less forced upon young lawyer David O’Sullivan who unwillingly accepts the job. What seems initially a straightforward case begins to show cracks when O’Sullivan interrogates Stuart and discovers that he was pressured into making a confession by brutal and unscrupulous police methods. As an illiterate Aborigine, he is a highly suitable offender not only in the eyes of the public, but also for the Australian Attorney General Chamberlain. With the help of a young journalist who sees the chance of making a name for himself with this case, O’Sullivan decides to appeal to the Supreme Court. Via a classic and genuine style of narration, this court drama excels for its superb evocation of the dramatic and tense trial atmosphere and excellent performances from Robert Carlyle and Kerry Fox.

About the director

Craig Lahiff studied physics and then worked for a computer company. However, his love of film led him to study filmmaking at Flinders University. After graduating, he worked with director Bruce Beresford on the films ‘Breaker’ Morant and Sunday Too Far Away. He also began making his own shorts and documentaries. These were soon followed by feature films, with Fever being nominated for Best Director by the Australian Film Institute in 1988. Other films include Heaven’s Burning (1997) with Russell Crowe. He also works for Australian and American television.


Duo Arts Productions Pty. Ltd.
Suite 2 - 1. Payneham Road, SA 5069, College Park

Svensk Filmindustri, AB
Greta Garbos Väg 13, SE - 16986, Stockholm
Tel: +46 868 035 00
Fax: +46 871 044 22

Scala Productions
15 Frith Street, W1V 5TS, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 773 470 60

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Craig Lahiff
Screenplay: Louis Nowra
Dir. of Photography: Geoffrey Simpson
Music: Cezary Skubiszewski
Editor: Lee Smith
Producer: Helen Leake, Nik Powell
Production: Duo Arts Productions Pty. Ltd., koprodukce / co-production: Scala Productions
Cast: Robert Carlyle, Kerry Fox, Charles Dance, David Ngoombujarra, Colin Friels
Contact: Duo Arts Productions Pty. Ltd., Svensk Filmindustri, AB, Scala Productions


Kerry Fox


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