Ben Elton’s new film, rom-com Three Summers places deep-rooted Aussie issues in the spotlight. Racism, indigenous ownership and Australia’s stance on the refugee crisis are all touched on, and dished up with dry Australian humour.
“It would help enormously if all Australians came to a better understanding of the tragedy that befell our Indigenous population,” Elton says. “It’s a difficult issue for older Australians to face, as Australia Day means so much to them. However, I don’t think we should be celebrating our national day on the same day that a tragedy of holocaust-level proportions befell an entire population.”
“That doesn’t mean that as modern Australians we are guilty,” he continues. “The problem is that when people feel guilty, they lash out and the blame the people that they are feeling guilty about. So our indigenous Australians lose out both ways. Firstly, because their culture and society was so utterly destroyed, and that the clearly the aftermath is still resonating deeply, but then some people resent them for spoiling the great Australian story.”
The film has a core message, and it’s as simple as the film’s tone is light: We all need to listen to one another’s stories if we are going to love harmoniously.
Elton is a huge champion of Cinefest OZ and this year, to mark the opening of the 10th anniversary of this treasured WA film fest, Three Summers played to a packed audience at the Orana Cinema in Busselton.
Watch the Three Summers trailer