Dish, The

1969. Well remembered as the year of one great step for mankind. Less celebrated for one small footprint in a New South Wales sheep paddock. But the tiny Aussie town of Parkes was the incongruous setting of a radio telescope, and the role it was to play in NASA’s choreography of Neil Armstrong’s televised moonwalk boosted it from sleepy backwater to semi-bemused focus of global fascination. This immensely entertaining slice of only-slightly-skewed history is essentially a comic drama of disparate scales and perspectives: where a few oddly-assorted individuals suddenly find themselves handed responsibilities of world-wide concern, and their even-less-prepared community rise (with admirable goodwill, if a little unsteadily) to the role of cementing international relations. The filmmakers behind the popular comedy hit The Castle here deliver a pure treasure.

Australia, 2000. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 104 mins.

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