Review | ‘The Xrossing’ puts multi-dimensional characters at its heart

The Xrossing | Dir: Steven J Mihaljevich | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This riveting locally shot film revolves around the repercussions of the murder of a young girl in the Swan Valley. Three teenage boys decide that a quiet Noongar man Black Bobby (Kelton Pell), who keeps to himself, is the perpetrator. Riding their bikes through the bush and armed with spray cans, they set off a chain of events that cumulate in a shocking ending.

This film is not a murder mystery that tries to find a murderer, though there are hints dropped if you watch the flashbacks carefully. It is a drama about prejudice, violence, ignorance, revenge and redemption. At its heart are several multi-dimensional characters whose decisions charge the directions of their lives forever.

Unlike his mates Shane (Jacob O’Neill) and Angus (Jamie Smith), Chris (Luke Morgan) manages to break the cycle of prejudice and violence and veer from the path of toxic masculinity. He is strong enough to resist his peers and intelligent enough make amends for injustice with the support of girlfriend Abbey (Georgia Eyers).

It is distressing to watch less enlightened characters get caught up in the whirlpool of hate and eventually self-destruction. Mihaljevich is absolutely mesmerising as Shane’s half brother and local drug lord Phoenix as he careers towards an inevitable crisis.

Former high school drama teacher Mihaljevich, who lives in Swan View, has already received awards for his low budget drama (below $250,000) – winning best film in the micro-budget category at the Toronto Independent Film Festival. This is not a brilliant Western Australian film – it is a brilliant film for the world stage.

The Xrossing is part of the annual Revelation Perth International Film Festival that celebrates independent filmmakers from across the globe and around the corner.

Running from December 9 – 13, Rev has over 30 features, documentaries and short films as well as the WA Screen Culture Awards. See www.revelationfilmfest.org for screenings and tickets.

Lezly Herbert


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