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:: The Lives of Mount Druitt Youth

The first thing they teach you in film school is to write and film what you know, and while that works well in theory it doesn’t always work well when it comes to documentary making. Over the years there have been some dreadfully long-winded documentaries about boring subjects due to the fact that the director has known far too much about the topic. Luckily that isn’t the case with first-time filmmaker Saad Adam.

In his debut doco ‘The Lives Of Mount Druitt Youth’ Adam takes an in-depth look at a subject that is obviously close to his heart… and he manages to pull it off remarkably well. Mount Druitt is to Sydney what Frankston and Moe is to Melbourne, and while TV shows like ‘Sixty Minutes’, ‘Today Tonight’ and ‘A Current Affair’ are quick to point their finger at the suburb because of the drug and crime problems amongst young people. Adam chooses to explore the topic in depth and first of all explore whether these problems are as problematic as the commercial media likes to make out, and then explores the impact that lifestyle has on the people involved in it.

This well may well be one of the most important docos Sydney has ever seen, due largely to the fact that Adam has chosen to interview the right people, the kind of people that set an example for people that live in Mount Druitt. If the person has had trouble in their lives Adam allows them to explain to young people why their path was the wrong way without the audience feel like they are receiving a sermon. The only fault I could find was the quotations used throughout the doco came from the director… a fine idea if the director was a Youth Worker or a Psych, but just doesn’t work here… someone like Les Twentyman would have been a much better choice, however this a minor gripe about a doco that for the most work is a gritty must-see film.

Saad Adam shows great promise of becoming one of Australia’s finest documentary filmmakers with a debut that is an exceptional watch.