Sweet As (2022) MIFF Review

Murra (Shantae Barnes-Cowan) is an indigenous teenager living in a fraught relationship with her mother who goes off the rails on a regular basis. Her policeman uncle Ian (Mark Coles Smith) gets her into an adventure camp program with three other teenagers. Elvis (Pedrea Jackson) is cheerful and confident, Kylie (Mikayla Levy) is obsessed with her older boyfriend and won’t listen to her mother, and Sean (Andrew Wallace) is a nervous worrier. Lead by Mitch (Tasma Walton) and her side-kick Fernando (Carlos Sanson Junior)they take cameras and head into the outback to learn about photography and themselves.

I enjoyed this a lot. It took a while for me to switch off the part of me that knew that, under child safe laws and regulations, much of what happened would actually not occur – or the parts that could would have been dealt with extremely differently. Once I pushed that aside, I enjoyed it, especially the parts with the four teenagers having fun and finding ways to support each other.

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