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The Plains

Directed by David Easteal
180 minutes
Unclassified 15+
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Documentary and fiction converge in this intimate portrait of a middle-aged Australian driving home from work over the course of a year. In competition, Rotterdam.
There’s nothing in Australian cinema to compare with this remarkable first feature by filmmaker-barrister David Easteal. Filmed almost exclusively from the back seat of a car that doubles as a safe space and confessional, this deceptively simple film is deeply layered and emotionally rewarding. The affable man at the wheel is Andrew Rakowski, a colleague Easteal met at a Melbourne legal centre. Over the course of Rakowski’s journeys from work to home – solo or with Easteal for company – we learn about the ups and downs of a man whose life story is anything but ordinary. Not a moment is wasted in this boldly conceived, cleverly executed and quietly compelling existential road movie.
The Plains doesn’t require traditional dramatic turning points or earth-shattering revelations for its narrative propulsion. It is by gradual accumulation of detail and subtle adjustments in tone and delivery that it becomes compelling and enriching.
The Plains seems to exist in conversation with another sprawling and recent road trip, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car. Both films understand cars as confession booths, moveable shields that carve a safe space where strangers can meet and confide in each other.
Leonard Goi, The Film Stage
The colourful minutiae of personal and family history scattered throughout Rakowski’s myriad Locke-style car phone chats likewise help the hours pass painlessly, even pleasurably.
Neil Young, Screen International
★★★★★ A tremendous achievement and, in a subtle way, an amazing work of art.
Luke Buckmaster, Guardian Australia

Special Guest

David Easteal
David Easteal (b. 1986) is a Melbourne based filmmaker. His short films screened at various international festivals, including the New York, BFI London, Chicago, Kiev Molodist, Sofia and Singapore film festivals. He received the Award for Emerging Australian Filmmaker at the 2015 Melbourne International Film Festival. The Plains is his first feature-length film.


Thu 9 Jun
Event Cinemas George Street - Cinema 3
Past Event Cancel
Sat 11 Jun
Dendy Newtown - Cinema 3
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
Unclassified 15+
In English
David Easteal
David Easteal
Andrew Rakowski, David Easteal, Cheri LeCornu
David Easteal
Simon J Walsh
David Easteal
Australian Films, Festival Award Winners, Cinephile, Biography
Company Credits
Sales Agent: Pascale Ramonda
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