#SheWatches High Ground

January 12, 2021


When my husband asked what High Ground was about I replied,  An Aussie cowboy film.” Producers are calling it a Northern rather than a Western because it was shot up north in Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park. Set in the 1930’s, High Ground stars a brilliant  Jacob Junior Nayinggul, powerful and stoic Simon Baker and Australian acting royalty Jack Thompson. The film tells the story of Gutjuk, a young Aboriginal boy who is brought up on a mission, after his family is massacred by a police led expedition. 

Stephen Maxwell Johnson’s epic is confronting and honest and should become known as an ‘Australian Classic’ that needed to be told. SheSociety were privileged to have been invited by the Asia Pacific Screen Academy and Madman Entertainment to a special advanced screening of this intense film that covers a violent chapter in our history. Recently Stephen received special mention at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards for this film.

In this tense thriller you will love seeing some of your favourite Australian actors including , Aaron Pedersen, Caren Pistorius, Ryan Corr and Callan Mulvey, as well as a fine cast of Indigenous actors including  Sean Munungurr as the vengeful Baywarra and elder Wityana Marisa as Grandfather. The beautiful Australian landscape is a character in its own right with the majesty and harshness of our landscape a feature for me. 

This film respectfully explores Aboriginal culture whilst creating tension, in this revenge thriller, which sees a peaceful Aboriginal family being targeted after sheltering some runaway Indigenous workers who are being chased by a posse of policeman. Former World War 1 sniper,Travis ( Baker), is planning a peaceful negotiation before his trigger happy mate, Eddy turns it into a bloodbath. 

Baker’s Travis takes pity on a young indigenous boy who survives the attack and he grows up being raised by white missionaries. Years later the second survivor, Gutjuk’s uncle Baywarra, leads a series of vengeful attacks on white settlers. Gutjuk is tasked with being the tracker looking for his own uncle. Past truths long hidden are revealed and an action packed and thrilling ending ensues. 

The beauty of the Northern Territory is breathtaking in this film and the message echoed throughout the film is powerful. It showcases a time in Australia’s history which should not be forgotten. This film should appeal to a wide audience. Both my husband and I loved it. The acting is top notch in this thrilling story which shares an important Australian story with the world. High Ground is in cinemas from January 28.

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