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The Combination

Combination, The (David Field, 2009) wr. George Basha; George Basha, Firass Dirani, Doris Younane, Clare Bowen, Michael Denkha; Lebanese street culture in Sydney

This is a powerful (and unpleasant) film. I hope it's not a true documentary presentation of what it's like to be a young male of Lebanese origin in western Sydney, but I'm afraid it might be close, as it's written by George Basha, who is said to have lived it.

Only film so far directed by actor David Field. Good job. Good actors can direct good performances. (Cf. Richard Roxburgh.)

Basha is totally convincing, and Clare Bowen is a welcome new face as Sydney, the Aussie girl whose parents (John Brumpton, Ruth McGowan, both excellent) represent the knee jerkers who take one look at John and label him a Muslim - and thus an 'other' who is 'not like us'. In fact, he is a Christian, like most Lebanese, but this sort of ignorance is not exclusive to white bread Australians. Doris Younane is superb as John's mother, Mary, creating a multi faceted character we can understand and Firass Dirani is impressive as the younger brother, Charlie, whose lack of respect for his older brother ignites a fire that gets out of control.
Michael Denka as underworld boss Ibo is also tops, a well judged characterisation which - like everyone else - avoids caricature and simplification. Hats off to the entire team and to David Field for his mature and intelligent direction of this gripping and relevant drama. Andrew L. Urban, urbancinefile

Cf. Cedar Boys.

Garry Gillard | New: 24 April, 2015 | Now: 1 March, 2020