I saw this short at the Magnolia Independent Film Festival for the first time, and I thought it was pretty good. This stark tale of life in the inhospitable Australian outback brings to mind many American films about the same theme--the struggle to carve a home and a business out of the wilderness. In this spartan effort, we watch as drought and bankruptcy drive a family to the brink. Neil Cobblin (Tim McGunn of "Liquid Bridge") owns a sheep ranch, and he watches everyday as the drought dwindles the number of his herd. Meantime, a well meaning man named Gary Burrows shows in the area with a relief outfit to help these ailing farmers, but prideful Neil has more important things to do than grieve about his losses. Neil's wife Rita (Laura Cox of "Kangaroo Jack") takes advantage of an opportunity to get a makeover that Burrows and company offers. At one point, Neil actually puts his head in a noose. Kim Ramsay served as both director and scenarist on this 29-minute short. Actually, I was reminded of vintage Gregory Peck film "The Yearling" when I saw this short. The cast is convincing and lenser Tim Tregoning makes everything look evocative in this man against nature outing. Although we've seen longer Hollywood films like this before, Ramsay--who also produced and edited it--shrinks it all down to bare bones and creates sympathy for the plight of his underdog hero and heroine.
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