Bikie plot may open wounds

The story of the 1984 Milperra mas­sacre must be told, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY TV -

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.

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