'Suffused with a sense that earlier filmic imaginings of Australian identity were "beginning to look threadbare" (Turner 1994a: 68), 1990s Australian cinema provides a key site for the examination of Australian identity in multicultural terms. Drawing on the work of Ghassan Hage (1998, 2003), Stuart Hall (1990, 1993) and Daniel Nourry (2005), this article investigates how notions of Australian identity in a multicultural society are played out (and with) by Australian cinema of the 1990s. Particular attention is paid to Head On
(Kokkinos, 1998) and Strictly Ballroom
(Lurhmann, 1992), as examples of different approaches to this issue. Enlisting a Bakhtinian approach, whereby identity is conceived in terms of "thinking from the margins", I argue that whilst films such as Strictly Ballroom
enlist a "good multiculturalism" to extend, through tolerance, the boundaries of Australian identity to the Other, Head On
provides a way of thinking about Australian-ness that refuses to simply assimilate or incorporate its Greek-Australian protagonist. By co-opting the audience to a position on the margins of society, Head On
opens up a notion of Australian identity that is not only or simply hybrid, but also never finally fixed (Hall 1990).
Source: Studies in Australasian Cinema 1.1 (2007): 61. (Sighted 01/09/2009).