It’s a case of David vs. Goliath in the Aussie outback in this profoundly topical documentary of an independent upstart battling the political establishment.
John “General Hercules” Katahanas is an independent candidate vying for the job of mayor in the West Australian city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Stripped of its once natural beauty and stolen from its Aboriginal owners, the area is now the site of exploitation by mining corporations gone wild. As Katahanas wages war against incumbent contender John Bowler, running on an anti-corruption ticket, we discover a town – and a country – struck by changes in economy and policy, and by the timeless impacts of exploitation and greed.
Cinematographer turned director Brodie Poole’s first feature-length documentary follows on from his acclaimed Guardian-commissioned short Where the River Runs Red, about a Tasmanian town also riven by mining. The film could not be timelier, arriving hot on the heels of the 2022 election’s ‘teal independents’ who used grassroots campaigns to topple established political powerhouses. With its comic observational style, unparalleled insights into community and compelling central figure who’s more charismatic than any script could imagine, the time is ripe to go the distance with General Hercules.
“Grotesque, grotty [and] hilariously philosophical … One of the most gloriously engaging documentaries to emerge into the pantheon of Australian cinema in a long time.” – The Curb
Closed Captions [CC]