Some Australian films sneak up on you when least expected. That's what happened with The Finished People, a small independent project about life, literally on the streets, of Cabramatta. Vietnamese-born Van, Joe Le, sleeps on the roof of the carpark. He's out of work, depressed, can't see much point really, until he sleals a shirt from the clothesline of Carla, Daniela Italiano. She's a new-ager, believes that you get back what you put out and a tentative friendship develops between the two. 17 year old Des, Rodney Anderson, sleeps in doorways with his pregnant girlfriend and tries pathetically to beg money from passersby. He wants to give his unborn child the love and the chances he never had. Tommy, Jason McGoldrick, a heroin addict and small time drug-dealer, makes up his mind to kick his habit and get a job, encouraged by his friend Sara, Sarah Vongmany.This film emerged from a community project when the director Khoa Do took classes in film and video production in Cabramatta in Sydney's South West. Its power comes from its blend of documentary and fiction. We believe these kids, they have such authenticity. This is partly because of the voice-overs which don't seem like written narration. The cast, who developed the script with Khoa, want to represent their world of homelessness honestly and it shows. With limited resources Khoa Do demonstrates enormous skill in telling these stories. The Finished People is poignant and powerful, one of the best Aussie films of the year.