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Set in Sydney’s western suburbs in 2001, this film is inspired by the life of director Guido Gonzalez who came to Australia as a refugee from Chile. The story delves deeply into the culture of mateship, the high expectations placed upon teenagers and their need to succeed in life on limited resources.

Riz (Varun Fernando) is highly praised and regarded as “better than family” by his close circle of working-class mates he shares a house with. He’s secretly dating a middle-class girl and when both worlds collide at his 18th birthday, a chain of events erupt which threaten all his relationships.

This low-budget feature is a study of life in the western suburbs and gives an insight into topical issues including racism, multi-culturalism and class division.

High production values are evident and a cast of predominantly inexperienced actors deliver intense performances which lead to a very poignant climax. (MMo)

*** ½

June 6-8, showing at selected cinemas as part of the Sydney Film Festival, $19.50, Tickets & info: sff.org.au