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  • Benjamin Maio Mackay

Partisan - 3 Stars

Watching Partisan was like watching a school perform Hamlet. The text was amazing, but the child actors let everything down.


The premise of this film is strange, yet riveting. Written by Australians Ariel Kleiman and Sarah Cyngler they make the film utterly uncomfortable to watch – but it the good way. The tense feeling in the cinema created by the text could not be shaken, no matter how much the children actors let the film down.

Vincent Cassel played the lead in the film and his performance was outstanding. I’ve long been a fan of Cassel’s work and his intensity and the fear he creates makes him perfect for this strange film. The story is about a cult, which Cassel runs – the cult is full of single mums and their children. The children range in age from babies to young teens. This is where a problem arises, the children. They didn’t believe what they were saying and they clearly didn’t understand their lines – this made it impossible to stay connected to the story. While this is a major detracting point the story and Cassel’s performance were enough to hold my attention – I didn’t look at my watch.


The music and cinematography were also superb and it’s good to see such a project like this come from Australian filmmakers.


Overall this is a very unique film, it is suited to the film festival circuit – so if you’re looking for something mainstream this isn’t it. However, if you want to support Australian cinema you will enjoy it. The children bring the quality down a bit, but look out in the future for these writers – they definitely have a future in writing and directing.


3 Stars

Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay

Screening courtesy of Madman Entertainment

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