“Hurt” is a semi-experimental film made by an independent production company on behalf of the New South Wales government’s violence prevention program. After attending workshops, 250 young Australians from five rural towns in NSW were lent equipment to film their impressions of life. Some contributions are exceedingly fleeting, no more than a single image; others are more developed. But almost all depict tragic, abused, wasted lives. Primitive technical quality and frequently hard-to-decipher dialogue will restrict pic to fest screenings and niche presentations.
The youngsters are not telling their own stories here, but are enacting the stories of others. There are children beaten by their parents; children who have witnessed the bashing of their mother by their father; children arrested for stealing. On the plus side are repeated shots of one boy steadfastly running, with, presumably, a sports career in mind, and an aboriginal boy who undergoes an initiation ceremony. Film ends amusingly with some movie-fixated boys heading off to a small NSW town called Hollywood. All 250 participants are listed in the extensive end credits.