Backtrack Boys – Film Review

Backtrack Boys is a feature length Australian documentary that covers the journey of three young boys, Rusty, Zac and Tyson through the Backtrack youth program.

Rusty is a 12-year-old foul mouthed bad boy, raised by his single parent father and having too many run ins with the law. Rusty is the newest boy to join the program and we see him progress and learn to tame his temper. Zac has been in the program for over 5 years and is coming to the end of his time, everything is going well until one bad decision puts his future and all his hard work in jeopardy. Tyson has been in the program for 3 years when he finds himself in youth detention, where we see him apply what he has learnt in the program to not only straighten out his life, but the lives of his fellow detainees.

The Backtrack Program was founded back in 2006 by Bernie Shakeshaft, a true blooded Aussie with a big heart who has saved and touched the lives of over 1000 kids. Bernie and his team aim to save the lives of youths at risk by keeping them out of jail and helping them realise their true hopes and dreams. They achieve this via many methods, one of the biggest is having the boys adopt a dog, train it and care for it. As well as the new skills they learn, the boys are rewarded with trips to regional shows to show off their dogs’ high jumping skills and even a trip to Sydney’s parliament and government house.

The journeys that these boys take upon and their outcomes are truly wonderful. Backtrack Boys is a heart-warming and eye-opening look into the important work done by these programs to save at-risk youth and will leave you with tears in your eyes and a smile on your face. It’s the perfect film for all ages and especially dog lovers!

Backtrack Boys is released in selected cinemas from October 25th.

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