Sweet As ★★★ 1/2 – TIFF 2022

Sweet As ★★★ 1/2 – TIFF 2022

Healing is never easy, and in Jub Clerc’s Sweet As , we see how a young group try to figure that out in the gorgeous setting of Pilbara. A sentimental coming-of-age film that hits all the right notes.

In remote Pilbara country in Western Australia, a troubled 16-year-old Indigenous girl, Murra, finds herself abandoned after an explosive incident with her drug-fuelled mother. On the cusp of being lost in the ‘Child Protection system, an unusual lifeline is thrown her way by her uncle Ian, the local cop, in the form of a unique Photo Safari. Before Murra knows it, she is careening down a dusty highway with a minibus full of ‘at risk’ teens and two charismatic team leaders.

Perhaps because the story of Sweet As has been taken from parts of writer-director Jub Clerc’s own life, the film feels quite personal. All these teens are trying to find themselves in an environment that has hindered their young lives to this point—all with different reasons for being there, but all in desperate need of a connection that sticks. As a result, there are little moments spread throughout that work well and culminate in a great film.

Yet there are the odd issues within Sweet As. Despite being around these characters for so long, there are times it feels as if we have missed a step in their development. As if Clerc has kept some of us away from us in lieu of keeping the breezy pace going. It also has the issue of having the overly familiar plot points that we are to expect in a coming-of-age story like this.

Some of the groups don’t get on because of their issues that get pushed out emotionally and physically onto each other; the group are to learn to cope by themselves etc. It is all there in the group coming-of-age storybook, and though it doesn’t hold back the film, you wish it was bold enough to make it, even more its own piece. It has the cast and the director to do so, but never strives earnestly enough for that.

While the cast is strong, the star of the show is the setting of Pilbara; there are numerous gorgeous places in the region that Clerc takes us to, including a rather breathtaking gorge around halfway through the film. Katie Milwright was seemingly relishing in capturing the area on film as she gets to show us a landscape few will venture to. She and Clerc take full advantage and continually strive to mesmerise us with each group’s location. Films like Sweet As can accomplish dual goals and tell us a personal and important story while making us fall wholly in love with our surroundings.

Little moments that Clerc adds to the film, such as freeze frame moments of what Murra sees and shoots, are interesting, perfectly telling us how she and the others in the group are feeling. A simple yet very effective touch to an already impressive film. Is Sweet As a little cliched? Sure, but that doesn’t hurt a film like this; it has a lot of heart and works very well. As we get towards the end of the film, like the characters, you can’t help but smile; its magic has worked on you.

Clerc has delivered a thoughtful and personal film; as we hear at the end of the film, if there is one thing you take away from Sweet As is to Stay Brave. You can’t go wrong in doing that.

★★★ 1/2

Support Us

I am but a small website in this big wide world. As much as I would love to make this website a big and wonderful entity. That would bring in more costs. So, for now all I hope is to make Upcoming On Screen self-sufficient. Well enough to where any website fees are less of a worry for me in the future. You can support the website below…


You can support us in a variety of ways (other than that wonderful word of mouth) and those lovely follows. If you are so inclined to help out then you can support us via Patreon, find our link here!. We don’t want to ask much from you, so for now we have limited our tiers to £1.50 and £3.50. These will of course grow the more we plan to do here at Upcoming On Screen.

Buy Us A Coffee

Our other method if through the wonderful Buy us a Coffee feature, but seeing as we are not the biggest fans of coffee, a pizza will do! We keep it fairly small change on that as well and it allows you to give just a one off payment, so no need to worry about that monthly malarky! We even have a little icon on the website for you to find it and help us out with the running of the website.

Social Media

You can also support us via Twitter and Facebook by giving us a follow and a like. Every one helps!

Leave a Reply