Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Sydney race film back at cinemas

The Combination
The Combination incorporates real news footage from the riots

Australian cinema chain Greater Union will resume Sydney screenings of a film about race riots which it pulled after a violent reaction from audiences.

The Combination details trouble between Australian Lebanese and white youths in Sydney's western suburbs in 2005.

The chain pulled the film in its Sydney cinemas after fighting broke out at two screenings in suburban Parramatta.

The screening will resume on Wednesday with extra security provided by the film's distributor, Greater Union said.

Our staff and patrons were placed in an environment they were not comfortable with from a personal safety perspective
Robert Flynn
Greater Union
On Thursday night, 30 young people attacked a security guard - who required hospital treatment - at the Parramatta cinema.

And on Saturday night, police were called after four people started fighting. No arrests were made.

Greater Union's decision to cancel screenings in its four Sydney cinemas had been criticised by the film's distributor, Australian Film Syndicate (AFS), which said it was "devastating for everyone involved, especially for the audiences".

Greater Union general manager Robert Flynn said AFS would be providing further security measures but did not detail what they would be.

FROM THE BBC WORLD SERVICE

"Our staff and patrons were placed in an environment they were not comfortable with from a personal safety perspective," he said in a statement.

"Until we were able to address these concerns properly and implement additional security measures, the decision was made to suspend sessions of this film."

AFS was unavailable for comment.

The Combination, directed by David Field, is set in late 2005 when ugly race riots flared at Cronulla Beach, in Sydney, sparking a series of retaliatory attacks in which shops, churches and cars were targeted

The film, which incorporates real news footage from the riots, follows the fortunes of a Lebanese Australian man as he tries to guide his younger brother away from ethnic gang violence.



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SEE ALSO
Violence flares over race movie
01 Mar 09 |  Entertainment
Riots shock Australian press
13 Dec 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Racial violence erupts in Sydney
11 Dec 05 |  Asia-Pacific

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