Alt cinema for big kids: Opal Dream


In Opal Dream, Kellyanne Williamson is a young girl with a vivid imagination living with her family in an opal mining town in South Australia. When her two imaginary friends, Pobby and Dingan, go missing, the mysterious sickness that she soon suffers has her older brother Ashmol on a search to find the invisible pair for her.

At the same time, Kellyanne and Ashmol's dad is chasing dreams of hitting it big in the opal mines. He is caught accidentally straying onto another miner's turf and assumed to be "ratting," looking for opals on another's territory.  Thereafter the family faces harassment over it in their small town.  

Based on the Ben Rice novella Pobby and Dingan, this bittersweet family film has a simple fable-like quality, the story an allegory for the loss of childhood. It also grants an interesting view of Australian life in the mining region. Might be a bit too sweet for some (as in more jaded older teens?). Good for 10+ or so. 

. . . 

opal dream cover.jpg

Rating: PG (some occasional language and tense moments of bullying.) 
Themes: siblings, bullying, imagination, compassion, faith, family loyalty, other cultures
Year: 2006
Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%
 Available on iTunes to rent or buy 

Interesting tidbit: the original movie had a different ending; a last-minute cut was made against the wishes of the director because the financiers thought it would have better success at the box office with a different ending. 

(Thanks to my aunt Susie, who mentioned this film recently. It was a good find!)

Looking for some more off-the-beaten-path options? Here are our other Nest & Launch alternative cinema titles so far: 
 Children of Heaven
Les Choristes