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Directed by Jackie McKimmie
1990
Australia
95 minutes
M
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Noni Hazlehurst plays a surrogate mother about to give birth, who welcomes her closest friends to her isolated rural shack. McKimmie’s second feature is a gem.

Hazlehurst is luminous as Clare, a pregnant woman awaiting the birth of her first baby. She lives in a shack in the bush with an outside dunny, and her only neighbour is the elderly Frank (Ray Barrett), who lives in a caravan nearby. Clare’s friends, Sandy (Helen Jones) and Michael (Frank Whitten), have made an arrangement with Clare to be the surrogate mother of their baby. Also present to help celebrate the birth are journalist Diane (Deborra-Lee Furness), who has been living in London and arrives with her latest lover (Denis Moore), and feminist filmmaker Terry (Fiona Press), who is accompanied by her teenage daughter (Noga Bernstein). It’s a frank and beautifully-made film about friendship, sexual politics and infidelity, with exquisitely photographed scenes of chaos as the little house fills with people who bicker, joke, quarrel, consume lots of food and booze – and await the arrival of the baby, that seems a long time coming. Hazlehurst, who was genuinely pregnant when the film was made, is the calm centre of the drama, and gives one of her finest performances.

Festival guest: Jackie McKimmie


From the Collection of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Tickets

Sun 9 June
10:15am
Art Gallery of New South Wales
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Year
1990
Classification
M
Country
Australia
Language
In English
Director
Jackie McKimmie
Producer
Ross Matthews
Cast
Noni Hazlehurst, Helen Jones, Fiona Press, Deborra-Lee Furness
Screenwriter
Jackie McKimmie
Cinematographer
Steven Mason
Editor
Michael Honey
Program Strand
David Stratton Selects
Company Credits
Rights: Filmside Productions
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