Bikie plot may open wounds
The story of the 1984 Milperra massacre must be told, writes
DIRECTOR Peter Andrikidis does not expect too much backlash from those directly or indirectly involved in the 1984 Father’s Day massacre when his new miniseries Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms makes its debut.
Andrikidis says the six-parter stays true to the book Brothers in Arms , written by Lindsay Simpson and Sandra Harvey, about the gun battle between rival bikie gangs the Bandidos and the Comancheros.
The bloody confrontation took place in the carpark of a Milperra hotel in southwest Sydney, during a swap meet. Seven people were shot dead, including 14-year-old bystander Leanne Walters, with another 28 injured.
Andrikidis says most people involved that day are dead but for those who are alive and connected to the battle, the miniseries may open some old wounds.
‘‘It still is fresh in some people’s minds and will upset some people but this story has to be told,’’ Andrikidis says.
‘‘There is a worry of upsetting people but we are portraying it from their side.
‘‘It’s not like we are negative. We have tried to keep it neutral.’’
The $6 million productions debuts this month, co-inciding with an outbreak of bikie violence – pure co-incidence, says Andrikidis who waited more than a decade to secure the rights to the book.
Anthony Hayes (left) and Luke Hemsworth (front) star in
‘‘The rights were for a feature film which was trying to be made for about 10 years and a year ago the rights expired,’’ he says.
Andrikidis, who directed several episodes of the original Underbelly series, makes no apologies for the violence, nudity and sex scenes.
To have anything less would be to selfcensor and run the risk of glamorising bikie gangs and what they stand for, he says.
‘‘Those debauchery moments we had to portray,’’ he says. ‘‘If you soften those events – and that’s the Underbelly thing – you tend to glamorise it. You need to let the audience decide what’s right and wrong. You don’t self-censure . . . otherwise you make a mockery of it.’’
A number of actors from the original Underbelly series have been cast in Bikie Wars: Brother in Arms – Damian WalsheHowling plays a bikie called Chopper; Callan Mulvey is Snoddy, the president of the Bandidos.
Andrikidis says he did his best to cast fresh faces and stay away from actors who have roles in other major Australian-made crime or gangster dramas in recent times.
It was one reason he chose Matt Nable to portray Jock Ross the supreme commander of the Comancheros who speaks with a thick Scottish accent.
‘‘Everyone wanted to be in the show once auditions were announced, so there was a wealth of riches to choose from,’’ Andrikidis says.
‘‘Matt Nable is an ex-footballer, is not Scottish and he had to learn that accent.
‘‘It was great he got that role as people don’t really know him and that’s the problem with some of our television, you end up with the same people.’’
Coming soon, Ten, Ten SC.