03 August, 2016

The Castle from a TCK perspective

I'm sorry to my non-Aussie readers today. You've probably never heard of the movie The Castle. It is an iconic Australian movie, a comedy-drama of the little guy (or a battler, we'd call them) against the big guys. A David and Goliath story, even. 

The story is of a tow truck driver and his family who own a house on toxic landfill right next to the airport. A big company is claiming they can compulsorily acquire land for expansion of the airport. The land they pursue acquiring includes this family's home plus three others, all lower working class-type families.

Darryl Kerrigan, the father of the family, believes his life to be especially good. Wikipedia puts it this way: "The sweet-natured family patriarch believes that he lives in the lap of luxury. Blissfully unaware of his family's lack of style or sophistication, he busies himself by driving his tow truck, racing greyhounds, and constantly adding tacky renovations to the house. The rest of the Kerrigan clan shares and supports his enthusiasm in every way."

It is a laugh-aloud movie in many places. It also has some great lines that are often quoted in our house, including "Tell him he's dreaming", "Dad, I dug a hole", "That's going straight to the pool room", and "It's the vibe". 

The last of those was the summary in the Federal court of the rather incompetent lawyer's argument about what law prevented the large company from acquiring these houses. If we are desperately in need of some humour in a situation I can say, "It's the vibe" and I can often break up a tense situation.

And this memorable exchange: 

Darryl: "Oh Steve, could you move the Camira, I need to get the Torana out so I can get to the Commodore." 
Steve in reply: "I'll have to get the keys to the Cortina if I'm gonna move that Camira." Darryl in reply: "Yeah watch the boat mate." (For non-Australians, these are all car models.)

Aside from the humour it shows a lot of love between the family. A husband who thinks the world of his wife and isn't ashamed to say so, he affirms his sons and daughter too. A wife who adores her husband too. They also have a lot of concern for their neighbours, including some recent immigrants.

Anyway, we love this movie. It's very Australian. This week we showed our boys the movie.

I didn't expect the theme of "home" to resonate so strongly with them. I think of the movie more as a comedy than anything else, but they came away thinking about how they appreciate our humble house as a home. How they really want to stay here as long as they can. 

We have another year-long home assignment coming up in 2018 (less than two years away!), and the boys wanted to know if we would be able to get someone to house sit for us again. We'll certainly try!

It's interesting because we don't own the house we live in, but I guess ownership doesn't make a place a home. They've only lived here five years out of the last six years. Our eldest has lived in seven other places, our middle son in six, and our youngest in four other houses. This is the longest they've lived anywhere, if you don't count that we essentially moved out for the year we were in Australia and then back in last July.

I've written before (for example see here) about how "home" is a tricky concept for kids like ours who are living in a different country to their passport country. It's tricky for us too, living in different country to where we grew up and where we want to retire.

It's great, though, that our guys consider our place home. I hope that we'll be able to stay here at last as long as it takes them all to graduate from high school (another seven years for our youngest). But only God knows the future. For now, I'm thankful that our house is a home and is considered so by our whole family. So thankful.

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