Directed by Ned Lander, The Wrong Side of The Road tells the story of two Aboriginal rock bands – No Fixed Address and Us Mob – as they travel from one country gig to another in the outback of Australia.
The improvised dialogue has some very awkward gaps, the film sometimes drifts and the sound is occasionally muddy. But the natural, almost documentary approach is an effective way of showing Australia as the two bands experience it.
They are harassed by outback cops who find it hard to believe that a group of Aboriginals could really own a truck-load of sound equipment.
And they each have their individual stories about the problems of surviving in the white man’s world.
Both bands emerged from the Adelaide Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music, and the idea to make a film about them was that of co-producer Graeme Isaac, a former film-maker who taught music at the school in 1979.
Originally conceived as a low-budget 50-minute film shot on 16mm, it evolved two years later into a full-length feature film, blown up to 35mm.
No Fixed Address