Sunday 10 April 2016

Wide Open Sky – a film review

The Image is taken from the official movie website at 

It was not a norm, and definitely not a run-of-the-mill day for us to watch a documentary film in a cinema. But we are so glad we did that today.  

The film is more than just a pleasant surprise. It is inspiring, thought provoking, and downright beautiful. The film is a bold attempt exploring the harsh realities encountered daily by the children living in the remotest parts of the outback Australia, the struggles of conforming to the ordinary and the desire to dream big.

The one-and-a-half-hour documentary brings the audience into the world of four unique primary-aged children from New South Wales, and gives us a rare insight into the complex emotions experienced by the under-privileged. We followed the moving journey of Mack, Taylah, Kyhnan and Opal; we witnessed their nervousness in striving to excel in the audition, their excitement of becoming part of the choir team in the Moorambilla Voices, their passion of pursuing their dream despite their supposedly disadvantaged background.

The Image is taken from the official movie website at 

Mack, an extraordinary child with an angelic voice and an unusual talent in dancing, made a sincere confession of his constant efforts of hiding his Billy Elliot dream, lest he might be seen as a weirdo and being despised by the classmates. Taylah, an aborigine with a powerful voice that can easily rock up any pop song, shared her aspiration of becoming a great country singer (and we have no doubt she will soon be one). We listened to the story of Kyhnan, a down-to-earth aboriginal boy who never fails to give the best shot in whatever he does. Opal, a girl with a pure and lovely voice, talked about her eagerness to make a difference to her hometown with three pubs and one general store.

We cringed and laughed watching how these children were being bestowed with the uphill task of giving a perfect choir performance under the guidance of the rather pushy but marvelous director, Michelle Leonard. Michelle was not content with the idea of an average kids choir with sweet voices. She is a mighty persona with high expectations, and demanded perfection in each note and pitch. Michelle believed in these remarkable children and knew without a doubt that these handpicked singers were capable of more than what they thought they could be.

The Image is taken from the official movie website at 

The film is a heart-warming record chronicling the limitless possibilities available to any Australian child who braves enough to harbor ambitious dream and strives towards achieving the impossible. It is a beautiful narration of the ceaseless determination of a group of courageous people that took the extra mile, and travelled far enough to bring infinite opportunities to the children at the most isolated corner in the State. The story is seamless and beautiful; motivational but not preachy, touching but not manipulative.

The Wide Open Sky will be officially showing nationally from 14 April 2016.

It is unfortunate that such an impressive film is not able to make its way to the giant screen of most mainstream cinemas in town. It will be screening at selective cinemas in Victoria, including the Palace Cinemas. I hope you will be the next audience captivated by this stirring documentary of rare beauty. 

Visit the website at:

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