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Michael Henry’s psychological thriller Blame (2010) follows a gang of youths who invade a music teacher’s home to avenge their friend’s suicide. When their assumptions of his predatory behaviour are disparaged the group are confronted with a moral dilemma: what should they do?

Blame is a moral tale, a cautious reminder that the world is not as clear-cut as it may seem. It explores vigilantism and the twists and turns that can cause a pack to disintegrate and question each other. In many ways it is a wine drinker’s version of Larry Clark’s Bully (2001), which similarly explores the psychology behind teenage group killings. Yet unlike the impulsive mood of Bully, Henry’s young adults are calculating and classy—they carry out their crime in formal attire, listening to classical music.

Henry’s directorial debut is enhanced by a talented cast of emerging Australian actors. Damian de Montemas delivers a flawless performance in the lead role of captive Bernard. Sophie Lowe plays Natalie, the ringleader who dominates accomplices Nick (Simon Stone), John (Mark Leonard Winter), and Anthony (Ashley Zukerman). Kesti Morassi is believable in her role as the grieving sister while Tamil Rogeon’s score also deserves a mention—the tranquil orchestral music offers fitting accompaniment for the breathtaking cinematography.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of Roleystone, Western Australia, Blame showcases rural Australia in a contemporary light. Bernard’s lavish home is complemented by the crisp precision of well-crafted cinematography. The decadent architecture of his property is contrasted with the thick acres of bush that surround it, standing tall beneath glistening sunlight. In many ways the imagery in Blame marries the city/bush dichotomy—shiny chrome bench tops share borders with rustic timber door frames while expensive silver cars are parked along dusty roads.

Blame is a slick Australian flick. Thriller fans should add it to their “must see” list.

Blame is screening exclusively at Cinema Nova from June 16.
For session times visit

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