To Be Aussie “Come Back Australia To Bali”

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It was important for me personally to make my short film “Come Back Australia”, shot during a recent visit to Bali. I wanted to capture the beauty of the people and the island.

I felt that Bali had been getting hammered by the Australian media in regards to bombings, high-profile drug cases and so on.That’s probably why my mother was a bit nervous about me going over there – she was worried I’d get all my camera gear stolen or wouldn’t return at all.I was convinced that all couldn’t be doom and gloom over there, so when my sister and her husband ( also mother and father ) decided on a trip over there in the New Year, my partner and I jumped at the idea to join them, with me sensing an opportunity to shoot some footage as well as soak up some culture!Meet Mr Agus!Tagging along with my sister and her husband helped because they are Bali “mad” and have their personal driver, Agus, who they call on each time they go there; he proved to be a wealth of local knowledge and his insight and kindness proved invaluable.

If there is a star of this movie, it’s Agus, and I am indebted to him and his family for letting me film a little part of their lives.We overcame the obvious language barriers to give you a glimpse into the hearts and minds of ordinary Balinese people doing it tough, yet oozing with generosity, love and spirit.

They are natural hosts and love to show visitors their amazing and unique island that has been a tourist destination for Australians for about 40 years but has been blessed with a magical beauty that has captured the imagination of visitors from all over the world for many decades more.Agus had no hesitation in letting me in on his world, into a part of Bali that those who never leave the confines of Kuta Beach will never experience.

That’s a shame, because the “real” Bali lies beyond where most of the headlines in the Australian press are made.45 Minutes to Another World45 minutes might get you across Brisbane or Sydney but, in Bali, 45 minutes out of Kuta or Legian is another world.Agus took me inland to his temple and he invited me into his home.

 I met his 10 family members and he gave me a grand tour of his house showing me the living room, kitchen and bedrooms.As we went we discussed various topics; Agus explained how important Australians are to his livelihood and how he hoped that tourists could see that Bali is safe and secure again after all the problems of the past 10 years; we discussed Schapelle Corby and how he thought she was guilty.

We went to the jail where Schapelle Corby and the “Bali 9” are held; there I was able to speak to the father of one of the “Bali 9.” Unfortunately, he was exhausted so it wasn’t fair to interview him, although I was hoping to do that.He took us to his temple, which was very big and partly his responsibility to care for.ChallengesWe had language challenges and the challenge of the stifling heat to deal with as we were filming (we looked like we’d just stepped out of a swimming pool at times) but that’s nothing to what the average Balinese person has to put up with on a day to day basis.

The infrastructure is poor and there are still open sewers in some streets, making them dirty and smelly in places.Agus didn’t even own the car he drove us round in so it was clear that things were pretty tough economically there.Parting ShotsI do hope you get a few glimpses of the real Bali from my short film.The “glamour shots” in the film were taken from the stunning resort we stayed at in Legian; other footage was taken when we ventured out in the evening – everywhere we went the service was superb and nobody minded me filming them; I would get the bartenders to look at the camera because their eyes told me their story…thank you to those guys, who made filming easy.Thanks also goes to my family (mum, dad, sister, her husband and my partner Natashah) who supported me in making this film and put up with all my nagging!Of course, final thanks to Agus. If you are ever in Bali and need a kind, reliable driver who can speak English we would be happy to pass on Agus’ details to you and he’d definitely appreciate the work– just send an email to me at Michael@videolabs.com.au.

For Video Production on the Gold Coast  Please share this article to help Bali.. 
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