Midnight Oil: The Hardest Line Movie Review

As an overview of the band Midnight Oil, The Hardest Line scores high marks for those who know little of the band, for those with more knowledge, it reveals scant few new details but this doesn’t prevent anyone from enjoying the film. It crackles with energy right out of the gate with its take on the band’s earliest days and we get to see some welcome rare footage. There are even photos shown of frontman Peter Garrett with hair!

It covers most of the main signposts along the way, events like the overseas sojourns to record some of the earlier albums, The Black Fella White Fella Tour in 87, the anti-Exxon concert on Wall Street, where they brought almost all lunchtime traffic to a halt. They also discuss the events that led to the band going on hiatus and reforming for a world tour almost a decade later. The events that have a political agenda are given prominent attention.



This is as you would expect for a band known most strongly for its firebrand approach to political events and Australia’s appalling stance on Aboriginal rights. It does however skip around quite a bit in regards to specific albums and the timelines in which they were made. For completest, this method might be a bit of a letdown as a favourite album might not even be mentioned. Most of the story is told via comments from band members, a few key entourage members and select members of the press.

The film is very well made and it’s a pleasure spending time with one of Australia’s most powerful and provocative bands and rock out to a soundtrack filled with their energy and passion. That you are left with a feeling that they truly practice what they preach speaks to the strength and depth of their collective character. Don’t miss your chance to catch this in the cinema and it’s being screened now on a limited run.

Midnight Oil: The Hardest Line is screening now for a limited time at Dendy Cinemas nationally.
Rob Hudson