7.0/10
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3 user 4 critic

Dakota Road (1992)

A sensitive drama about a farm labourer's abused daughter who fantasises about the officers of the local U.S. Air Base to escape the guilt and hypocrisy of everyday life. But her dreams of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Man on the Train
Amelda Brown ...
Maud Cross
...
Raif Benson
...
Jen Cross
...
Jacob
...
Alan Brandon
Rachel Scott ...
Amy Cross
...
Bernard Cross
...
Joan Benson
David Warrilow ...
Douglas Stonea
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A sensitive drama about a farm labourer's abused daughter who fantasises about the officers of the local U.S. Air Base to escape the guilt and hypocrisy of everyday life. But her dreams of glamour and excitement are shattered when she is seduced by a pilot, setting in motion a chain of events... Written by Anonymous

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17 July 1992 (UK)  »

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References Top Gun (1986) See more »

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Hell can Exist in the most Heavenly of Places
26 December 2009 | by See all my reviews

Having spent some time myself beneath, and also flying in, the vast skies of East Anglia, I can confirm that this film has captured the setting faithfully. Not just the stunning visual panoramas of vast open fields, but the almost medieval relationship which still exists between landowner and farm labourer. The characters are typical of the landscape but not stereotypical - in fact they are presented with considerable depth and there are some surprises. The overriding theme seems to be of a rural way of life under attack almost to extinction. A remote area it may be, but modern attitudes to sex and the environment must reach there eventually. But the ability of the characters to respond to these issues is severely limited by the harsh economic realities of life. It seems that they are living in a straitjacket so unbearable that their only escape is to retreat into themselves so that they don't communicate. At times I found myself trying to will one of the Crosses to open up and meet Bernard half way when he tries to talk to them.

Most people in the UK struggle to afford a home large enough for themselves and their possessions, so it is something of a shock to see the Cross family who can only afford to sparsely furnish their tied cottage. This film has stunning cinematography, not only outside, but in scenes inside the Cross's home, where natural evening light and artificial light are mixed to link up the inside and outside. For many of us the idea of all this space both inside and out seems like heaven, but this film shows us how hell can exist in the most heavenly of surroundings.

I think this film succeeds on many levels, with plot twists which are unexpected yet are deeply rooted and consistent with the underlying theme. It is structured as strictly linear narrative which allows the viewer to become completely absorbed in the story (no bits of text coming up saying "Six Months Earlier" for example). The acting is very realistic, and it is filmed in a very professional and watchable style. Still very relevant, I agree with other commentators that this film should have had more exposure. Can we have another viewing on TV please? Or even a DVD?


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