Participation discussion Essay Example

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2Storm Boy: My Opinions and Observations



Produced in a South Australian setting, Storm Boy is a film that brings out a true picture of Australia as a country and its environment. In my opinion, the writer of this classic Australian film had the intention of presenting both Australia’s social existence as well as its commitment to environmental conservation. This is evident when the ‘Storm Boy’ rescues the three pelican chicks that had been orphaned following their mother’s demise. The boy comes out strongly to provide the three kid pelican with support and protection. This, according to me, conveys a message of care for the environment.

According to King, Verevis & Williams (2013), the late 1960s and early 1970s were characterised by Australia’s resolve to showcase her dynamic culture and traditions to the entire world in her quest to renew her culture. This historical trend in Australia’s developments has been clearly captured by this film especially considering the remote South Australian lagoon setting in which the film is produced. With the exact setting of the film being the Coorong national park, it is easier to connect with the Australian culture and environment. From Mike’s (Storm Boy’s) encounter and interactions with the pelican chicks, I am persuaded (just like any Australian outsiders would) to attribute Australian culture and environment to large water birds such as the pelicans and care for the environment. The film ends tragically when one of Mike’s closest friend of the three pelican chicks Mr. Percival dies following the increasing encroachments into their natural habitat. At this point, I believe the writer of Storm Boy intended to convey the message of environmental conservation with specific regards to the increasing cases of urban encroachments into natural habitats such as national parks and their effects (Moran & Vieth, 2006).

A deeper analysis of the Storm Boy leaves one wondering whether the writer of the film is for or against modern civilisation. Having repeatedly watched this film, my own take would be that the writer castigates modern civilisation at least for the sake of Australia’s cultural renewal. It is evident that when Mike’s father Tom secludes himself from the outside world, the writer seems to discourage modern civilisation in order to conserve the environment. He extends the same seclusion to his son Mike (Storm Boy) when he forbids him from using the radio he had collected at the beach which according to Tom would connect Storm Boy to the outside world. While this reasoning may be good for the conservation of the environment, it may not necessarily be the best way to promote one’s culture to the external world as was the mood in Australia between the late 1960s and the early 1970s (Potter, 2015). In any case, such seclusion only helps to alienate the supposedly rich Australian culture from the external world (Stevens, 2016).

In my opinion, the remote South Australian setting in which this film is produced helps to not only bring out the rich Australian culture, but also helps an Australian national to discover their identity as a nation. This further assists in the decolonisation of the mind by the British at least culturally. On the flipside, the storyline seems to advocate for too much conservatism which may in itself be a stumbling block to the intended cultural and identity renewal itself.


King, N., Verevis, C., & Williams, D. (2013). Australian film theory and criticism. Bristol: Intellect.

Moran, A., & Vieth, E. (2006). Film in Australia: An introduction. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.

Potter, A. (2015). Creativity, culture and commerce: Producing Australian children’s television with public value.

Stevens, K. (2016). Australian film festivals: Audience, place, and exhibition culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.