Title: Clearing the Air Clip

When I set out to make Clearing the Air my goal was to make a film that was, in the truest sense of the word, naturalistic.

It’s a short and simple story - a fleeting reunion between an estranged father and his son, raggedly and impolitely thrown together at a hotel looking out on Sydney International Airport.

Dad - a struggling entrepreneur - is rerouted from Papua New Guinea to Wellington via Sydney, and while there he reckons he’s “got to see” his boy.

And so they come together for a few stolen moments – acutely aware that their reunion will end as soon as it’s begun. They go through their rituals, make small talk, listen and don’t hear, miss each other and occasionally connect.

This is not an entirely autobiographical film, although I admittedly drew on some of the circumstances around my own broken family. What I can tell you for certain is that real life doesn’t always involve yelling. Families die both noisily and sometimes with a deathly quietness. We don’t always say exactly what we think and hardly ever exactly what we feel. There is subterfuge, swallowed sputum, mumbles and silence. I’d like to thank Rhys Wakefield and Marcus Graham for trusting this instinct, and for illuminating all of the subtext that runs beneath their apparently prosaic review of AMEX cards, business assignments and life in a post-divorce world.

The characters don’t raise their voices, there is no spleen venting – they just wallow together in a sad, sometimes hopeful sense of their changing relationship.

This film belongs to the two performers and I am grateful for them trusting that not everything needed to be said, for hewing so close to the quilt of real life and for realising a dynamic that was – going back to that word - genuinely natural. I will always be grateful that they etched out a moment of such tenderness together in the final exchange – a brief and heartbreaking acknowledgment of a future that has now become deeply uncertain.
Related Titles: Clearing the Air
Related Names:Marcus Graham, Jonathon Green, Frans Vandenburg, Damien Beebe, Rhys Wakefield, Julian Shaw
Content Rating:Not Rated
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