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WILD FLOWERS

UK, 1989 (MIFF 1990)

Director: Robert Smith

An older woman is preparing the body of a younger woman for burial. For a moment she stares bitterly at the corpse, then slaps it violently across the face.

The reason for this outburst? All is revealed in the extended flashback which is the core of this lovely chamberwork of a film about family relationships in Presbyterian, lower middle-class Clydeside in the early 1930s.

The women are mother and daughter, the former unable to forgive the latter for the shame brought when she showed passion for another woman. This gets compounded further when the daughter, Annie, becomes taken with Sadie, her own son's girlfriend. Yet Annie is a woman of irrepressible joy, good humour and sensuality, who, although accepting her conventional lot in life, also refuses to allow her free spirit to be broken.

How Annie and Sadie attempt to bring that free spirit to bloom makes for a gentle, understated study of the strong currents often bubbling beneath the bourgeois surfaces of small town normality and the contradictions which swing between beauty and oppression. While the subject matter might imply a certain grimness and gloom, this miniature Celtic jewel glimmers with wit, irony and a piercing radiance.
- (PKe)

"Its humour reminds one of the comedies of Bill (Gregory's Girl, Local Hero) Forsyth, revolving around irreverent behaviour of its puritanical characters." - Richard Bevan, The Pink Paper, 9/12/1989

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