Director: John Hughes
Screenwriters: Paul Davies, John Hughes

Institute History

  • 1986 Sundance Film Festival


Traps is a surprisingly engaging and clever film that paints a vivid portrait of the current political climate in Australia. The film is built around the investigative work of a radio journalist who covers various real and fictional political event. She weaves through encounters and interviews with political commentators, politicians and other journalists, even reviewing the film Allie at one point. She winds through a labyrinth of leads and half-truths, through the “traps” of political rhetoric and practice. Gradually an intriguing and mysterious political saga begins to unfold. Highpoints include the real election night celebration for Labor Prime Minister bob Hawke where an exploding light bulb is mistaken for a gun shot and in a marvelous sequence taken from an earlier film by Hughes, a political analyst who believes he’s discovered secret messages encoded in the daily crossword puzzle. Although much of Traps relates specifically to contemporary Australian politics and may, therefore, appear obscure, its cumulative impact is impressive.

Screening Details

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