A movie project that has not been delayed is the Tomorrow, When the War Began movie. It comes out later this year in Australia. I had thought that maybe I would have to explain for ages and ages my issues with this movie, but then I found an article to explain it for me:
“If I named a country, it wouldn’t be that book; it would be something else entirely. What the book and the movie are about is these eight teenagers and what happens to them when their country is invaded, not who’s doing it or why. The ethnicity just makes common sense. If anyone is going to invade Australia, it’s not going to be Europe, and it’s not going to be Africa. It won’t be Antarctica or New Zealand. It’s going to be someone in Asia. It’s the logical thing. It’s common sense enough for an audience to say ‘ok, that’s who it would be’” he explained.Okay, wait, here is my explanation: as much as I loved this series for giving me a young Asian-Australian who wasn't 'exotic,' who was just struggling with stuff and living his life and having romantic teenage entanglements with people who weren't Asian, I hated this series for giving me an agressor who fed into the Australian zeitgeist of imminent invasion by the yellow hordes to the North.
This idea that permeates this country, imminent invasion by the hordes to the North, is not new and it's not yet gone; Prolonged Symptoms of Cultural Anxiety: The Persistence of Narratives of Asian Invasion within Multicultural Australia is a paper that looks at just this idea. It's a good read, and highlights basically everything I dislike about the genre (including his use of racial stereotypes, and his erasing of Indigenous Australians with White (settler) Australians), and this series in particular;
The popular reception of Marsden’s invasion narrative signifies the historical continuity of Australian invasion anxiety within changing cultural contexts.Shouldn't we be past this by now? Can't we be past this? I've had to deal with this for so long, and this idea is a key element of the undertones of xenophobia so many of us have to put up with (regularly or irregularly), and it's so frustrating that it's the basis of this Australian classic that doesn't even have the excuse of being written during Federation or whatever. It was the big text when I was a teenager, when I was trying to figure out what it meant to be Australian and Chinese and all the rest of it.
If you think this is an over-reaction, that people don't seriously believe this stuff - well, check out the comments on any online Australian paper when there's an article on immigration, any country in Asia, or border crossings. Or sometimes crime involving people of Asian descent. It's awesome reading.
At least we always had the ambiguity, in the book, teeny tiny though it was.
And now we get the whole freaking movie.