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Australia 2013
Directed by
Lesley Branagan
53 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Life Exposed: Robyn Beeche, A

Although running a mere 53 minutes Australian filmmaker Lesley Branagan’s documentary about fellow Australian, still photographer Robyn Beeche, took seven years to make and is a wonderful portrait of an unassuming woman and her life-long creative journey.

Beeche moved from Sydney to London in the 1980s and became immersed in the thriving London art and fashion scene of the 1980s, known to the world via such figures as Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. Then at the height her commercial success she visited India during the festival of Holi and it changed her life. After a number of years journeying back and forth between the UK and India she decided to move permanently to an ashram in Vrindavan where she has lived for the past 25 years documenting its people, places and rituals.

A Life Exposed, is despite the title not a probing of the person, so much as a retrospective of the two intertwined arcs of Beeche’s career as a photographer. Both are inspirational in their own ways. On the one hand we delve back into the decadence of 80s fashion with its love of bold colour, stark geometry and polymorphous perversity. Then we move to India and in particular the annual ritual of Holi, in many ways a perfect complement but with a new spiritual dimension that grounds Beeche’s still stunning imagery in a more profound tradition.

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