West of Sunshine
A working-class dad must settle a crippling debt in this punchy slice of Australian social realism. Jason Raftopoulos’ impressive first feature debuted at Venice Film Festival.
Jim’s a decent guy who works for a courier company. But he has one terrible problem that’s cost him his marriage. Jim’s gambling addiction has also left him $15,000 in debt to a loan shark. Full payment is due today – or else. Jim’s first thought is to place a big bet on a sure thing in race two at Ballarat. He has no plan B. It’s also school holidays, forcing Jim to take young son Alex around town in search of a solution – or a miracle. Marked by excellent performances and filmed in vibrant, little-seen Melbourne locations, West of Sunshine beautifully captures a father-son relationship and those moments in a child’s life when the adult world comes suddenly and sharply into focus.
Sunshine is a timely and intelligent essay on the eternal theme of how fathers can both inspire and alienate their sons. – Richard Kuipers, Variety