“Awful”: Steve Price slams upcoming Port Arthur movie
The film about the 1996 Port Arthur massacre has proven to be a massive controversy, with many saying it should not be made.
On Wednesday night’s episode of The Project, Lisa Wilkinson asked Steve Price his opinion on the upcoming film.
“A controversial new film about the 1996 Port Arthur massacre has been widely condemned. It is due for release next year. Survivors have branded it ‘tasteless and inappropriate,’” Lisa stated.
“The film focuses on the gunman who killed 32 people and injured 23 others in what became one of Australia’s worst mass shootings.”
“Steve Price was at the scene after that horrific event unfolded in 1996.
“There are films made about 9/11, World War II and here in Australia about Snowtown. What is different about this one?” Lisa asks.
“Well, Lisa, I think it is probably too soon and too close to home. I mean, the 35 people who were killed there, their relatives today I would think would be having flashbacks,” Price said.
“The 21 people injured by that gunman would be feeling uncomfortable. I saw an interview back with Walter who did it from the ABC, where he was talking about how he lost his wife and his two children and he described how the gunman had left the cafe and was driving back down the road. He saw his wife. He jumped out of the car. He killed her. He then shot one of the daughters. The other was hiding behind a tree. He turned around the side of that tree and gunned her down as well. I stood in front of that tree the day after that happened and I can tell you, and I wasn’t there on the day but I was there the next day, it still haunts me. It was an awful feeling and awful place and it would be an awful movie.”
“Is it fair to protest a film – we don’t know what is in the film. Is it fair to protest a film which has not been made yet?” asked co-host Joel Creasey.
“We all know how it ends and the end is grim and awful. I don’t know what sort of job this filmmaker will make of this movie. I won’t see it. I am sure anyone there on the day will avoid it at all costs. I agree it should not be made,” he said.
“I don’t see the point in making something which was an awful stain on our history.”
Waleed Aly asked him whether the film could be seen as a crucial way to learn lessons from the tragedy, as there was no trial.
“It sounds like an important story to tell. Isn’t this a way to do that?” Waleed asked.
But Price didn’t think so.
“The big lesson we learn is there’s no place in Australian homes for automatic and semiautomatic weapons. We learnt that John Howard took guns off people after that. A lot of people turned weapons in and we’ve not had as may a mass shooting as that ever since. That is the lesson we learnt. What did we learn about the gunman? What we have learnt today is we’re not using his name. That is a good lesson. I don’t though how a movie can be made without using the person it is about and saying their name.”
The movie based around the events leading up to the horrible tragedy will make its cinematic debut in 2021.
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