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MPAA Rating: R for disturbing images, language and some nudity
not reviewed
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Thriller, Foreign, Drama, Adaptation
2 hr. 3 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
April 27, 2007 (NYC/LA)
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Sony Pictures Classics

Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer

Featuring: Laura Linney, Gabriel Byrne, Deborra-lee Furness, John Howard, Leah Purcell, Stelios Yiakmis, Alice Garner, Simon Stone, Betty Lucas, Chris Haywood, Eva Lazzaro, Sean Rees-Wemyss, Tatea Reilly
Director: Ray Lawrence
Producer: Philippa Bateman, Garry Charny, Catherine Jarman
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

“Under the surface of every life lies a mystery”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “On an annual fishing trip, in isolated high country, Stewart, Carl, Rocco and Billy ('the Kid') find a girl’s body in the river. It’s too late in the day for them to hike back to the road and report their tragic find. The next morning, instead of making the long trek back, they spend the day fishing. Their decision to stay on at the river is a little mysterious-almost as if the place itself is exerting some kind of magic over them.

When the men finally return home to Jindabyne, and report finding the body, all hell breaks loose. Their wives can’t understand how they could have gone fishing with the dead girl right there in the water-she needed their help. The men are confused-the girl was already dead, there was nothing they could do for her.

Stewart’s wife Claire is the last to know. As details filter out, and Stewart resists talking about what has happened, she is unnerved. There is a callousness about all of this which disturbs her deeply. Stewart is not convinced that he has done anything wrong. Claire’s faith in her relationship with her husband is shaken to the core.

The fishermen, their wives and their children are suddenly haunted by their own bad spirits. As public opinion builds against the actions of the men, their certainty about themselves and the deci¬sion they made at the river is challenged. They cannot undo what they have done.

Only Claire understands that some-thing fundamental is not being addressed. She wants to understand and tries to make things right. In her determination Claire sets herself not only against her own family and friends but also those of the dead girl. Her marriage is taken to the brink and her peaceful life with Stewart and their young son hangs in the balance.”

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See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Negative—I hated this movie! Having come with other people, I was unable to leave but didn’t enjoy the experience at all. The guy who murdered the Aboriginal girl at the beginning continues to pop up all through the movie, leaving you on the edge of your seat wondering who will be the next person he brutalises. The movie ends with him sitting in the same lookout place up on the hill that he is waiting for his victim on at the opening of the movie. It feels very unresolved. Although he features all the way through, in no way is bringing him to justice a theme of the movie and no justice (or even restraint) is done. You see far more footage of the naked, dead body of the girl than is necessary or desirable. It was sickening. I felt almost in need of a shower after walking out of the cinema. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anybody. Also, having lived not that far from the actual town of Jindabyne, I found it disturbing that such a h orrible but FICTIONAL story will now be associated with the name of this small mountain town.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
—Kristy, age 27, Australia
Negative—I would not recommend this film although there are many ethical issues that could be addressed after watching it; such as racism and one’s responsibility to the community, etc. I hardly enjoyed even one minute of the film and only stayed expecting it to improve. The relationships portrayed were basically poor role models of depressed, messed up and lonely people. You can see how unhealthy the families are and it shows up in the young children who dabble in witchcraft/spiritualism. The adults range from those involved in ancestor worship/spiritism to the so called superstitious Catholics whose religion is portrayed as a meaningless routine. If you get squeemish seeing naked dead bodies, don’t go, although there was only one, we see it way too many times as at least one man seems intrigued by it.

As for the film making, I got a bit tired of basically the same 2 songs or genres that played during the whole 2 hours. On the positive side, there was the “thriller” part of hoping the actors don’t get attacked by the “bad guy” and the acting seemed pretty good and it was realistic. The realism was also the part that made the film depressing, knowing that there are so many people living like that and without Christ, they won’t break free.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 2½
—Ruth Torres, age 38
Positive— “Jindabyne” starts with an implication of assault and tragedy. The storyline moves to a typical male hunting/fishing movie. The setting is the Aussie bush and the aim is a fishing weekend away from work and family pressures. They camp in a remote and beautiful setting. The idyll is shattered by the discovery of a young female body floating in the water. The responses of the men to the shocking discovery builds tension and after argument they elect to leave the body tied up out of sight and continue with their fishing. Eventually the youngest of the group breaks down. He says he can’t stand it anymore and leaves. When they all return to town the film shows the dismay and anger of their wives and girlfriend as the news gets out and the police start interviewing the men. The story is challenging and the mood is tense right through to the end. Not one for youngsters or for the “Sound of Music” fan club. The differing way men and women react to events is clearly evident, and is a reminder to Christians that we are called to wrestle with issues of life and death.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Graeme Rule, age 65