The Journey, a movie commissioned by the Australian immigration department to deter potential asylum seekers, has been enthusiastically praised by critics for being much more positive and entertaining than every other Australian movie released in the past twenty years.
“Despite being composed mostly of scenes of families drowning at sea, The Journey proves to be a darn sight more uplifting and optimistic than any other local product I’ve seen in the cinemas this year,” said film critic Tracy Spencer. “What a refreshing change from arty flicks about love affairs between doomed junkies and agonising adaptations of Chekov plays to outback settings.”
“I’m bitterly disappointed with the early scenes of The Journey which portray people with some hope rather than it devoting its entire running time to portraying life as a grim struggle that you engage in before dying a pointless death,” said Edward Anthony, head of comedy at Screen Australia. “No wonder they went over our heads to the immigration department to get funding because we certainly wouldn’t have touched such light hearted subject matter with a ten foot pole.”
With gross box office takings of $12.50, The Journey is far and away the highest grossing Australian movie of the past five years. Audience reaction after the red carpet premier in Kabul was overwhelmingly two thumbs up.
“It actually made me more likely to want to try to go and live in Australia because every other Australian movie I’ve seen makes life in Australia look relentlessly grim,” said Afghan moviegoer Abas Yusuf. “It showed that not every Australian is the victim of child abuse or a member of a ruthless crime family. I give it four stars.”