7.7/10
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Vacant Possession (1995)

Following the death of her mother Tessa (Pamela Rabe), a young woman, returns after many years to the weather-beaten family home on the shores of Sydney's Botany Bay. But the old family ... See full summary »

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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Tessa
John Stanton ...
Frank
Toni Scanlan ...
Joyce
...
Kate
Rita Bruce ...
Auntie Beryl
Olivia Patten ...
Millie
Barbara Wyndon ...
Thea
Simone Pengelly ...
Teenage Tessa
...
Billy
...
Estate Agent
Tony Barry ...
Salvation Army Man
Ian Spence ...
Volunteer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Melissa Ippolito ...
Young Tessa
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Storyline

Following the death of her mother Tessa (Pamela Rabe), a young woman, returns after many years to the weather-beaten family home on the shores of Sydney's Botany Bay. But the old family home begins to bring old wounds more and more to life. The story unfolds through flashbacks yet as it progresses the flashbacks merge into the present as it becomes apparent that the situation Tessa has returned to is very much the result of that which passed before. This is a film about memory - personal and collective. To quote the director: 'the story of a house, land and two families - one white, one Aboriginal - both living in the shadow of the past'. The deliberately ambiguous title could refer to the house itself, but also the history of White Australia (see Terra nullius). Written by swity_de

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f rated | independent film | See All (2) »

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Drama

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23 May 1996 (Australia)  »

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14 February 2001 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

_Vacant Possession_ explores some fairly common ground as the death of a mother brings a daughter home to Sydney, where the old family home begins to bring old wounds more and more to life. Initially, the flashback sequences are well defined, but as the story unfolds they become more and more seamlessly blended with the present.

There is little here that hasn't been covered numerous times in other films, although it is possible to read the film as a metaphor for the history of white Australia. Ultimately, however, _Vacant Possession_ leaves more questions unanswered than answered.


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