Ivan Sen delivers another layered and engrossing slow-burn thriller, reprising the distinctive, 'outback noir' style of Mystery Road and its central character - troubled indigenous detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen). On the desolate road into the mining town of Goldstone, Jay is arrested for drunk-driving by fresh-faced local cop Josh (Alex Russell). Jay is on the trail of a missing girl, but Josh is reluctant to help, yielding to the considerable, pie-baking sway of the corrupt local Mayor, Maureen (the brilliant, butter-wouldn't-melt Jacki Weaver). When Jay's investigations lead him to Furnace Creek Mine, Josh is faced with a stark moral choice – solve the crime, or collude with those responsible.
That two-handed structure prises open the film's nail-biting narrative, as Sen establishes both blackfella and whitefella perspectives to illuminate the social, economic and environmental factors that corrode Australian Indigenous 'country'. His vision is realised through his own writing, cinematography, editing and composing; a true filmmaking all-rounder, his cinema is both searing in its eloquence and steadfastly entertaining. Goldstone's exceptional cast includes David Gulpilil, Tommy Lewis and Cheng Pei-Pei.