For those expecting to see a film showing one of Australia’s most incendiary live acts playing during one of their peak eras, disappointment beckons. Midnight Oil: 1984 plays out more like the Peter Garrett show than a film about the Oils. This is not to say it doesn’t have a something to offer, it just needs to be put into context.
Focusing almost solely on Garretts first run in politics is an interesting story in and of itself and the reward for long time Oils fans is present. That gift is a selection of live footage that highlights the last era of the band when they were truly powered by punk energy and righteous indignation (other than the resurgent period of Redneck Wonderland brought about by the rise of the chip witch from Ipswich). The live footage however is frustratingly incomplete and no complete songs are shown. Once again it must be stated that this is not a concert film.