Australian Council on Children and the Media

World’s Fastest Indian

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Short takes

Parental guidance to 13 (Lang. Themes. Sex.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for World’s Fastest Indian
  • a review of World’s Fastest Indian completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 April 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to its coarse language, themes and sex scenes, parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 8. In any case, children under 8 may find the storyline of this movie difficult to follow.
Children aged 8-13 Due to its coarse language, themes and sex scenes, parental guidance is recommended for children aged 8 to 13.
Children over the age of 13 Adolescents over the age of 13 would be okay to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: World’s Fastest Indian
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language, Mature themes
Length 121 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Despite his age(late sixties), and having already set the land speed record on his Indian Twin Scout motorcycle in New Zealand and Australia, the slightly eccentric but charming Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins) still pursues his dream of breaking the world land speed record. From his dilapidated garage in Invercargill, New Zealand, and with the help of his young neighbour, Tommy Jackson (Aaron Murphy), Burt continues to modify his motorbike and raise the necessary funds to get to the 1967 Bonneville Salt Flats Speedmeet in Utah, USA.

After making some personal sacrifices and ignoring his increasing health problems, Burt is able to begin his own odyssey to Los Angeles and cross country to Utah. He befriends and charms an assortment of characters on his journey, but remains single-minded in his purpose to race. After finally reaching Bonneville, a series of unexpected obstacles appear, and Burt’s dream of 25 years to race for the world record seems lost. Burt relies on his determination, charm and the support of newfound friends to overcome these final hurdles.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There are no significant violent scenes in this film. There is one scene in which two angry drivers in Los Angeles, honk at each other and then deliberately drive back and forth into each other. No one is shown to be injured.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There are some scenes that could concern children under the age of five, including:

  • menacing bikers show up at a fundraiser for Burt. They push and shove some of the guests, laugh at Burt’s motorcycle and challenge him to a race.
  • Burt is shown to be in pain during an episode of angina.
  • when he arrives in LA, Burt travels with a surly taxi driver, has money taken from him by a girl selling flowers and is approached by a prostitute. He appears vulnerable and lost during these interactions.
  • Burt is attacked (but not hurt) by a rattle snake.
  • during the final race, Burt’s leg gets burnt, his goggles fly off in the wind and his bike crashes. For a few brief moments he doesn’t move.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group could also be concerned by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Many children aged eight to thirteen could also be concerned by the above mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children over the age of thirteen will probably be okay with this movie, although the scene in the final race could concern some children.

Product placement

Except for the Indian Twin Scout motorbike, there is no product placement in this movie.

Sexual references

The film contains some sexual references, including:

  • prostitutes and a transvestite are shown around Burt’s motel in LA
  • a prostitute propositions Burt.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some implied sexual activity, including:

  • Burt is shown to wake up in bed with two different women during the movie
  • on one occasion, the woman’s bare torso is shown from the back
  • on the second occasion, Burt has a sore back and asks, “What have you done to me?!”

Use of substances

There are a number of scenes in which people are shown to be drinking or smoking. Burt clearly states on many occasions that smoking is bad for you and that he himself never smokes or drinks. He is shown to be well-liked despite taking a strong stand on this.

Coarse language

The film contains frequent coarse language, particularly in the latter half, including:

  • fucking old bastard
  • you God-damn genius
  • ass
  • bloody
  • prick
  • bollocks
  • fart
  • chicken shits
  • piss off
  • buggers
  • Jesus

In a nutshell

The main messages of this more at to not be afraid of taking risks, that age is no barrier to chasing your dreams and to be determined in the face of obstacles and people who try to put you down.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • endurance through adversity
  • being yourself and standing up for your beliefs e.g. not smoking, not drinking.
  • believing in yourself
  • accepting people for who they are

This movie could give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the selfishness that can go hand in hand with being single minded. The issue of racing without appropriate safety equipment (due to a lack of funds) could also be discussed.

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