Official Selection: Venice Film Festival
There’s something very enigmatic and strangely mysterious about this new Australian feature.
Set in the isolated Opal mining community of Lightning Ridge, it tells the story of a small group of men and a recent female arrival of young Milena (Kate Cheel) who’s in town to visit her sick father. Like moths to a light, Milena’s new face attracts a number of the locals who do their best in their own stunted way to make her welcome.
There’s nothing too complicated in their world, and it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, there’s a VB stubby never too far of reach. But there’s something missing in and between them – and it’s that lovely negative space that makes this film so intriguing.
Strange Colours actively plays with our expectations of what an “outsider in the outback” story is (think Wake in Fright), and director Alena Lodkina obviously enjoys that interaction with tradition and expectation but what she delivers is something unpredictable and nuanced just as the surprising colours in opals that appear depending on the way you look at the stone.
The film and characters feel incredibly authentic, as if Lodkina and Cheel jumped straight off the bus and started filming a major contributing factor that makes Strange Colours somewhat of a quiet triumph.
Screens with the short film Whole To Part.
Mon 9th, 8.30pm, SX