Midnight Oil: The Hardest Line | Third Space

Midnight Oil: The Hardest Line

Sydney Film Festival 2024 collection
Sat 6 Jul 2024



⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ (out of 5)

Legendary music and activism are front and centre in this exciting documentary, created with unfettered access to seminal Australian rock band Midnight Oil, who emerged from politically charged 1970s Sydney to become global icons. Across a 45-year career, ‘The Oils’ helped shape modern Australia with anthems like “US Forces”, “Beds Are Burning”, and “Redneck Wonderland”. Featuring unseen footage and interviews with every band member, alongside signature moments including the outback tour with Warumpi Band, their Exxon protest gig in New York and those famous “Sorry” suits at the Sydney Olympics, Midnight Oil: The Hardest Line traces the journey of Australia’s quintessential rock band.

Midnight Oil is a legendary Australian band not just for their music but also for their artistry, which extends beyond their songs. Their music was never about themselves - it was always a call to action. They sang to young Australian audiences who felt found in their lyrics. And they championed causes that other artists didn’t out of risk of being unpopular. As a result of their activism, their reach would extend beyond the concert stage and allow their frontman, Peter Garrett, to enter the political arena, where he would advocate for issues boldly and determinedly. Midnight Oil: The Hardest Line is a fantastic documentary that charts not only the band's career but their causes - what drove and continues to drive their music and message. Formed during a progressive rock counter-culture, the band have evolved but never lost their relevance, radicalism, or maverick style. They always did it their way, never letting their message become overproduced or diluted. With fantastic use of archival footage and audio interviews with the band overlaid, the documentary serves both as a historic time capsule for Australian culture and politics - and as a testament to one of the greatest Aussie bands to come from Gadigal land.

Reel Dialogue: Why is activism important?

Midnight Oil and their frontman, Peter Garrett, saw their music and platform as an avenue to advocate for causes they believed were important. From Indigenous civil rights, environmentalism and the arts, the band often used the lyrics of their songs or the locations of their performances to call our injustice and call for action to occur.

The Bible is very concerned with justice and the rights of people to be upheld. Scripture champions the care of the poor, calls out the wicked, and asserts the dignity of all peoples. The Gospel is the most radical message to ever advocate for - a call to repent and accept the love of God. If you believe this message, do you advocate for it? We'd love to share this powerful life-changing message if you’ve not heard it before.

Proverbs 29:7 - “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”

If you enjoy discussing the film's themes, contact our team at Third Space. We can start the conversation and connect you with those who can help you find the answer.

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