Sir – This is a letter of apology to Rachel Perkins, the director of Jasper Jones. Last night I had to leave the Alice Cinema after 30 minutes; not because Jasper Jones is bad but because it is so good.
I grew up in a small town just like Corrigan, at a time like that. The film brought it all back – the stultified, suspicious, aggressive atmospheres, the cars, the moods, the grown-ups doing forbidden things in the dark, the beer, the hangovers from the war. The crimes.
I had a friend like that Aboriginal boy (we called him Tarzan) and another (Charlie Goolagong).
He got hit with suspicion and blame just like that. I guess the bookish white boy, who climbs out the window and into trouble bigger than anything he could imagine, does remind me of myself – then in the 1950s/60s. And the sullen houses. And that’s why I had to leave. That film really puts the finger on our past.
Maybe it should carry one of those health warnings: “Australians over the age of 50 who grew up in small country towns may find this film disturbing.”
Craig San Roque