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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

The Impossible

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Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some...

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Saltwater mob style

Story & photo Melissa Butters If you’ve ever tasted the wild fish rillettes from The Bay SmokeHouse you know what’s...

Will the Lennox Park pavilion survive?

Ballina Shire Council will today debate the future of the Lennox Park pavilion/dressing shed, which is slated for removal as part of the Lennox Village Vision concept plan.

Community bar – not

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Super swim challenge accepted

A group of mates from Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay and Lennox Head, recently formed a swim team known as the Anti Budgie Boardriders for the purpose of taking part in the Starlight Foundations Super Swim Challenge.  

Council’s power

Matthew O’Reilly I refer to Ian Pickles’ letter, titled ‘Developers’ power’ (Letters, 10 February). Generally, I must agree with most of...

Cartoon of the week – 24 February, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Film review by John Campbell

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU4mXJRHIcQ[/youtube]

It has taken the horrendous tsunami of Boxing Day, 2004, longer than one might have expected to be dramatised for the screen.

Given that the wreckage and devastating loss of life that it brought occurred in ‘our’ region, it is even more surprising that it has finally arrived as a Spanish production. The movie is based on the book written by María Belón, a physician, who, with her husband and three sons, survived the disaster that struck while they were holidaying in Thailand. In this she is played with painstaking faithfulness by Naomi Watts, who has deservedly earned an Oscar nomination for her efforts.

But, unavoidably, a film of this nature is restricted by its subject matter. We know exactly what happened and only the most dim-witted would not expect for it to be a classic exercise in the ‘indomitable human spirit’ genre – and that is not meant as a criticism. Director Juan Antonio Bayona and scriptwriter Sergio G Sánchez have succeeded admirably in bringing the drama to life without bogging down in repetition or cheap sensationalism. Aided in no small way by the remarkable technology now available to filmmakers, the event itself and its mind-boggling aftermath are shot with horrifying realism.

Badly injured and separated from husband Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their two infant sons, María is shepherded to an overcrowded local hospital by her eldest boy Lucas (Tom Holland). Despite Watts’s heart-rending performance, it is Holland’s Lucas who rises to the occasion and, whether by design or not, becomes the focal character – his searching the wards for other victims’ relatives exposes the fragile thread that holds us to our own worlds.

There is, however, no sense of time – did all this happen over two or three days? A week? Certainly the unchanging bloodstains on Lucas’s arms and legs gave no indication. I took my hanky as insurance against a bawling conclusion, but the non-stop pathos had wrung out of me any uncontrollable urge to blub well before Mum, Dad and the kids were re-united.

 


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