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A writer, Ned Kendall, is asked to return to the family home by his sister Sally, to say goodbye to his father who is dying. The family home is in a very remote and isolated area. While back home, Ned starts having memories of his beautiful twin sister and himself when they were children. These memories awaken long-buried secrets from the family's past. Written by
You want a cuppa?
Do you like being everyone's slave?... I'm sorry... You just do everything for everyone.
No, you're right. Tea's there. You can make it yourself.
I'm not saying you shouldn't... Don't you get sick of it, though?
Sick of what?
Well, fuck, if it was me, I'd leave the bastards to get on with it.
Probably bloody kill each other.
[Imitating Scarlett O'Hara]
Well, Frankly, my dear, I'd risk it... Hmm.
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I saw this film over a week ago, and it still stays with me, almost haunts me. Tex Perkins' soundtrack was perfect, and like the images, will hang around you for days, perhaps weeks.
The subject matter is not pretty, and may be confronting to many, but in my experience it is not terribly unusual or unexpected, given the remoteness of the family farm. Accolades must go to the cast - Ben Mendelsohn, Bryan Brown, Rachel Griffiths (deliberately dowdy in this)and the amazing Sophie Lowe as Kate. The Flinders Ranges in South Australia also has a major role, and performs well - beautiful, remote, dangerous and overwhelming, a bit like the underlying secret which gets addressed during the course of the film.
This is the story of a family secret, hidden (but not forgotten) for 20 years, and the final revelations are stark and shocking. The cinematography and editing are truly inspiring, and I was thrilled to see such a fine piece of film-making. Top credit however must go to Rachel Ward - Director, writer (adapted from the novel)- as this is her movie, and she deserves every one of the awards that this movie is sure to receive. As a piece of art - which it is - this film will move you, even if it makes your skin crawl, or you find yourself wriggling in your seat. For the experience alone, this film is worth seeing.
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