Cedar Boys

19 Feb

Tarek (played by Les Chantery) is a twenty-ish Lebanese-Australian who lives with his parents and younger sister in Sydney’s western suburbs. He idolises his older brother, Jamal (by Bren Foster) who is currently serving a prison sentence but can’t afford an appeal. Tarek is desperate to find the money to help his brother, but his job and lifestyle doesn’t provide any opportunity to do this. Tarek would also like to meet some girls from different circles and he gets involved with an Australian party-girl, Amie (by Rachael Taylor) with expensive taste and a drug habit. One day Tarek’s best friend Nabil (by Buddy Bannoun) talks Tarek into a scam after he has seen a guy regularly and suspiciously come and go from an apartment and he’s sure it is being used for criminal activity – maybe a drug depot. Nabil talks Tarek into helping him steal the drugs, then they involve Sam (by Waddah Sari), a friend who is already a drug dealer, to help them get the pills into the market – and the profits start to roll in. This all goes along merrily, until the real owners of the drugs start to figure out what happened to their gear and come after the boys.

This movie is a stark depiction of life for Lebanese-Australians today – the story is told in the context of their everyday experience of prejudice. They can’t get into nightclubs, they are stopped by police only because they’re of Middle Eastern appearance, girls make assumptions about them as soon as they see them and the media has regular coverage of suburban shootings and conflict in the Middle East. Throughout the movie, the no-frills style, natural dialogue and absence of music all add to the building drama. The atmosphere and suspense is created very well.

The acting by all three key “boys” is very good indeed – they are authentic, emotional and give us a sharp insight into the character and lives of the members of this community.  It’s very good. Directed by Serhat Caradee.

(Made: 2009)

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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Movies


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