‘A window into the past '
A glimpse of 1990s Australia.
The film of ‘The Black Balloon’ explores the dynamic of a family, the Mollison whose teenage son Charlie has an autism spectrum disorder. The film text rewinds the different type of lifestyle that people had to face due to mental disabilities and also the core features of autism spectrum disorder in the early days of the 1990s in Australia.
AUSTRALIA'S CULTURE: Early 1990s VS 21st Century
The Black Balloon shows a strong fitting of the days in Australia of the 1990s, the kids riding bikes, and the cricket on the radio. The set time of ‘The Black Balloon’ was before Youtube, Facebook, Myspace, Ipods etc. Even mobile phones and home computers were uncommon.
'The Black Balloon' revealed the daily routine back in the 1990s of an Australian family. Surf lifesaving lessons after-school, riding bikes to and from school, playing computer games using commodore 64.The Black Balloon allow the viewers to witness the sacrifice of Charlie's family to care for him due to his mental disability and also the complications of their reality in their days.
The set time of the 'The Black Balloon' was in the early 90s, revealing disrespect and the complications of what people had to face if they were known to have a mental disability. Charlie is living with autism as well as 'Attention Deficit Disorder'. Charlie wasn’t the only one being pushed around, but also Charlie's family was also involved in the so called known, 'bullying' from their surroundings, and surprisingly even their neighbours.
In one of the scenes, Charlie became the victim of a malicious taunting and harassment when being spotted at his older brother, Thomas’ school. The scene shows a strong characteristic of how the peers reacted towards Charlie and it also proves the difference of our 21st century, treating people with disabilities with respect rather than how it was like in the typical Australian 1990s.
In addition, the representation of playing cricket in front yard clicks our thoughts on the 1990s. One of the scenes from the movie submitted the typical Australian outback culture and passed through a great view of the enjoyable feature of Australia's 1990s.
Our present is now considerate and respectful towards mental disorder or any type of disability. It's very rare for people to domineer over a person going through a mental disorder, because our society has now become used to the difference of our surroundings and we've all acknowledged about the slight differences in others.
'The Black Balloon' proves that our 21st century to Australia's 1990s has completely transformed, from the littlest and to the biggest things that are now playing a big part in our lives. Our lifestyle has also changed for the better, our 21st century has matured.
The scene of Charlie being spotted at Thomas' school
"When we let go of our differences, we discover who we are, normality is relative".
Front Yard Cricket= Aussie 1990s
Express and Reflect
This true to life film is heart touching and thoughtful. The message of the film in my opinion was just 'acceptance'. There were some points in the film that I found relevance to, and after from watching it, I feel as all I need is patience and to accept others. My favourite character in the film was the mother, Maggie. She was the most inspiring and admirable person I found in this film text. The way she never gave up on her sons, and by her having to go through with the negative attitude from other people referred to Charlie, she was still able to stand up on her feet and accomplish on what she thought was right. Maggie had a very strong characteristic; she was a upfront and a supportive woman. The quote that I remember from her is that “Your brother will never be able to do the things you will." This reminded me of how lucky I am, by being able to do the things that I do, I feel extremely brainwashed from watching 'The Black Balloon'.
What was also very good about this film is that the perspective of it was from the 1990s in Australia, which surprised me on how many things have changed today. The amount of harassment towards mental disorder people was absolutely disgraceful, in the other hand I believe our society has become more benevolent and sympathetic.
Overall this movie was very commendable, it had a life message that I'm assure to keep personally, and also it was very thoughtful and entertaining.