Mabo

Mabo (Rachel Perkins, 2012) Jimi Bani, Deborah Mailman, Ewen Leslie; teledocudrama

I’m just about to watch the teledocudrama Mabo. I don’t recall either of the historical people being overweight. Not easy roles to cast now, eh?
And now that I’ve watched it, I don’t see why we needed it when we already had Life of an Island Man, with the real Eddie and Bonita.
I don’t know if the ABC has some kind of quota of drama it has to commission, but I can easily imagine the team around the table at HQ, with a conversation including some of the following. Anniversary of Mabo coming up: we should do something about that. Big deal legally, and also an Aboriginal topic: shows we have ethical relevance. … So they talk to Blackfella Films.
But how to cast it? Easy to think of the popular Deborah Mailman, but there’s a problem with the title role. They ‘make up for it’ by miscasting – and wasting – Colin Friels, a great dramatic actor, as a judge, for chrissake. And Miranda Otto as a lawyer: another waste – but the names look good on the marquee.
You’ll gather that I’m pretty cynical about the whole thing, despite it having Rachel Perkins to give it Indigenous cred.


Garry Gillard | New: 16 October, 2012 | Now: 23 February, 2017