The Adolescent Nation

Re-Imagining Youth and Coming of Age in Contemporary Australian Film

Deeply rooted in Australia’s construction as a young nation, ‘coming of age’ has been the defining narrative of Australia’s national cinema. This book provides the first study which systematically explores the ‘coming of age’ theme in Australian feature films produced since the turn of the millennium, foregrounding how films use a range of diverse (his)stories to respond to the centrality of this theme.

Rather than focussing on ‘coming of age’ mainly in its portrayal of a (successful) maturation process, this study explores the possibilities inherent in what is conceived of as a ‘permanently’ transitional ‘coming of age’ process, providing a crucial starting point for the re-definition of national fictions. A range of cinematic genres, including the road movie, crime film, sport film, romance and musical, is used to challenge and (to varying degrees) destabilise the national myth of Australia as a youthful, egalitarian society with a chance and ‘fair go’ for everyone.

Benjamin T. Jones in: Zeitschrift für Australienstudien, 36 (2022), 73-75, DOI:

Daozhi Xu in: Anglistik, 33.2 (2022), 276-277