December Boys is a film released in 2007 based on the novel by Michael Noonan. I, Maps, and three other orphan boys in our teen age, Misty, Spark and Spit were referred to as the December boys for the reason that we were all born in the month of December.
I was named Maps symbolically because of the birth mark on my chest that resembles the map of Australia. We were best friends and closely knit in the orphanage and had given up hope of ever being adopted.The film depicts the journey of our coming of age and our adventure and turning point during the holiday of 1960 in Australia. We were sent from the Roman Catholic orphanage during our birthday for a holiday to stay with Mr.
and Mrs. McAnsh at the beach resort off the coast of South Australia. While here we get wind of the rumor that a couple would adopt one of us. This creates a lot of tension and our friendship is tested leading to formation of new alliances to compete for the opportunity of being in a real family which was a dream for all of us.
We all learn a great deal of lessons concerning our personalities and the world at the end. This was indeed a summer that changed our lives.I experience my first romance during the holiday when I meet Lucy, who had come to the beach to live with her uncle and fall in love with her. My mind is less focused on getting parents and so I give my entire mind to the new romance. Soon I get my first Kiss from Lucy and loss my Innocence to her in a cave in one of the remarkable rocks.
At the same time, Misty is focused on getting adopted by fearless who is a fairground worker, and Teresa, his foreign born wife. One night, he overhears, by chance, Fearless speak to his friend about his intention of adopting one of the orphans. Misty is overjoyed by the idea of finally having real parents and decides to keep it as a secret away from us. He only reveals it to the priest who had driven to the beach for our confessions.
We later force him to tell us the truth which he does since we noticed he took so long in the confession room. Spark, spit and Misty wish to compete for the love of Fearless and Teresa but I feel it is not a big deal. The next day, I am frustrated to hear that Lucy has left after she fails to show up at our usual meeting point in the rocks. Her uncle later told me that she returned to her father and will not be back until the next summer. I was heartbroken and decided to go to the carnival to talk to Fearless. I discovered that he was not a motorbike rider but an animal cleaner.
This infuriates me to the extent of destroying Misty's painting where he had painted himself as the son of Fearless and Teresa. Misty was very angry and attacked me with the broken frames of his painting, a symbolism of our broken bond.The name fearless is symbolic in that he was never afraid and took a lot of risks that were at times costly to him. He explained to me in the caves of the Remarkable rocks where I had gone to pass time that he had been a bike rider and took Teresa through all the stunts while she rode at the back. An accident occurred and Teresa was hospitalized for close to a year making her incapable of bearing children. This accident was in fact the reason why they wanted to adopt a child.
Another aspect of symbolism is in the event that occurred when I returned to find out that misty had gone to into the water and was drowning in the deep part. I jumped after him to save him despite the fact that I was unable to swim myself. We almost drowned but opened our eyes underwater and saw a vision of the Virgin Mary which was an indication that we were dying. Misty tried to reach for it, an indication that he wished to die.
Fearless grabbed both of us in the nick of time and brought as back ashore. I reconciled with Misty and our bond was repaired. This also shows the theme of reconciliation.A number of themes intended by the author are brought forward by our interactions and stay at the beach resort. Firstly, the theme of love between me and my brothers in which our love and friendship is put to test by the competition for foster parents.
There is also the romantic love between me and Lucy where I experience my first kiss and lose my innocence in the caves.Sibling rivalry is another theme well highlighted in the film. Although we all dreamt of going to a real home, I was not for the competition for the love of Teresa and fearless. This theme is tied to the overall theme of our coming of age. We long to have a sense of place and to belong tot a family.
Misty is adopted by Fearless and Teresa but eventually feels empty and decides to come back since we are his only family.This film was shot in the Australian mainland coast in the 1960s based from a novel from the East coast of Australia before the Second World War and was shot on Kangaroo Island. The film shows in the end my siblings driving to the beach with my ashes since I had died while serving as a priest in Africa helping refugees. They let my ashes free in the wind as they remember our time together there.