Australian Bruce Beresford (Breaker Morant) directed this poignant, humorous examination of adolescence set in the Sydney beachside suburb of Cronulla.
The film focuses on two high school girls – Deb Vickers (Nell Schofield) and Sue Knight (Jad Capelja) – who fret about popularity, fall in with the callous surfer boys of the Greenhills gang, experiment with sex and drugs and, finally, wise up.
It’s when Strach (Ned Lander) and a couple of the other surfers lure Freda (Tina Robinson) into a gang rape near the oil refinery that the girls begin to realise that all is not well in their Shire paradise.
Based on the 1979 novel of the same name by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey, this subject has been thoroughly explored before, but Bruce Beresford offers a fresh and satisfying approach.
Carey and Lette had based the book on their own experiences growing up on the beach near Cronulla, and young audiences could recognise a lot of their own experiences in the story of Debbie and Sue.
Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell