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The Quiet Room
Australia 1996
Directed by Rolf De Heer
Running time 102 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars


An unnamed 7-year-old girl (Chloe Ferguson) refuses to talk in protest at the inability of her parents’ (Paul Blackwell and Celine O'Leary) to maintain the happy family she wants.Told entirely via the child’s voice-over this is brave film-making given the narrow parameters and non-cinematic subject matter but De Heer has made a career travelling the road less travelled.

Commendable as this is the principal problem with the film is the relatively static nature of the child's perspective. Once established the film becomes largely an exposition of that point of view and thus the satisfaction afforded depends on how much.one identifies with or is sympathetic towards it. There is a secondary, double-edged problem with the film and that is that the child’s narration is improbably mature for one so young, This in turn is qualified by the fact that in reality people argue and that relationships that began in the vapours of romance often end in bickering disaffection. The naïve desire for it to be otherwise is simply not the way of the world. With so many non sequitors it is hard to imagine where the audience for this film is going to come from .

DVD Extras: Available as part of a 6 disc Rolf De Heer Collection from Umbrella Entertainment that also includes Tail Of A Tiger, Epsilon, Bad Boy Bubby, Dingo, and Incident At Raven’s Gate..

 

 

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