‘Midnight Oil: The Hardest Line’ Rockumentary to Open Sydney Film Festival

Midnight Oil
Tony Mott

Midnight Oil: The Hardest Line,” a documentary feature about the veteran Australian rock band Midnight Oil, has been set as the opening gala title at the Sydney Film Festival.

It will have its world premiere at the State Theatre on June 5, kicking off the festival that runs until June 16.

The film is written and directed by Paul Clarke and produced by Carolina Sorensen. It was executive produced by Mikael Borglund, Paul Clarke and Martin Fabinyi.

It is a Blink TV and Beyond Entertainment feature documentary with principal production funding from Screen Australia and Australian Broadcasting Corporation in association with Screen NSW. It was financed with support from Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Music Publishing. Australian theatrical distribution is by Roadshow Films.

The band, known to fans as ‘The Oils,’ was active for 45 years and were both successful and contrarian on and off screen. They are known for anthems including “US Forces,” “Beds Are Burning,” “Blue Sky Mine” and “Redneck Wonderland.” The band is additionally known for its Exxon protest gig and wearing “Sorry” suits at the Sydney Olympic Games.

“This documentary not only chronicles the formidable journey of one of Australia’s most influential bands, but also captures the spirit of an era that reshaped our cultural and political landscapes,” said Sydney Film Festival director Nashen Moodley.

“’Midnight Oil: The Hardest Line’ is a film for our time. Observant of Australian politics and culture, and fearless in calling out environmental and racial issues, ‘The Oils’ maintained their relevance for over 40 years by writing and performing music with global resonance. Featuring timeless anthems, we cannot wait for audiences to witness the power and the passion behind the legend that is Midnight Oil,” said Borglund.

“When Australia was creaking under the weight of its own myths, they told us the truth. Their songs pinpoint the fault-lines in our culture, they rage against the strange and dangerous times we’ve lived through, and they offer hope. After following them [as filmmakers] for seven years, we thank ‘The Oils’ and we feel we have an important film to share,” said Clarke.

The full 71st Sydney Film Festival program will be announced on May 8.

From Variety US