Goldstone full movie review - Thrilling Story, Timely Subject
Overly curious visitors to an outback mining town are told to be careful where they step, for there are snakes around.
When Aboriginal detective Jay Swan is sent by the federal government to investigate the disappearance of Chinese migrant women, he encounters the snakes. The town is full of them. This is because many town residents, including the mayor, are on the take for the mining company and for the rest, they depend on the company in one way or another. "Without the mine," says one resident "there's nothing you know." Even among the Aboriginals, Swan gets no traction in his search for the missing migrants. "Brother boy, you're a guest here like the white man," one tells him. Not only does Swan fail to find someone he can trust, he cannot even trust himself half of the time because of a drinking problem. Yet Swan's persistence and toughness begins to pay off when a town resident dies in suspicious circumstances. As Swan takes advantage of holes in the armor of the mining company and their abuse support network, he also must convince fearful, abused and bullied people to step out of the shadows.
The film revolves around a timely subject; human trafficking. The migrant women in the film and those who dare to speak against the mining company, are bullied, abused and made to feel worthless and insignificant. "The world was not made for you," they are told "you were made for it. You think you can make a difference?!" And these women have good reason to be afraid and stay in the shadows. "When you find the truth," they ask the police, "what will you do? Will you protect us?" Probably not.
Goldstone includes some amazing images of the outback and intriguing shots taken overhead by drones. The film is a thrilling story about an important and timely subject, and it has interesting characters, yet it feels a bit constrained. This may have something to do with budget, acting and/or depth. International premiere seen at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and the beautiful, historic Winter Garden theater.