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CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION

Australia, 1996 (MIFF 1996, Fiction)

Director: Peter Duncan

35mm/Col/1996/94mins

No suspension of disbelief is too big an ask, no flight of the political imagination of a nation too bizarre, to be incorporated into the stunning vision of post-war Australia teetering on the edge of a Brave New World that is Children of the Revolution.

Few knew that Joseph Stalin spent his last night on the planet in the arms of a young Australian woman. Fewer still know that their love child brought Australia to the brink of civil war! All is revealed in Peter Duncan's audacious first feature. a seriously funny drama revealing the incredible story of young Joe Jnr (Richard Roxburgh) and his passionately committed mother Joan Judy Davis), spanning two continents and five decades of Australian social history.

Such a riotous sacrifice of so many sacred cows would possibly suggest a morauding, heavy-handed humour, but Duncan's supreme moments of spare-no-one spoof are carved from much meatier stuff. This is the stuff of sophisticated political satire, the likes of which is not only rare in Oz cinema but has rarely been so consummately handled anywhere This is best illustrated by the way that Children of The Revolution never fails to draw you into the emotional stakes of its characters Whether passionate, deluded fanatical or iust plain naive red' Joan and her personal journey-a fascinating reflection of an era and an archetype that is all too familiar-remain not just credible but deeply effecting. Played out before our eyes is an Australia that was, is. and may have been: the cultural nuances so beautifully captured-from archival Menzies to marches and pop music.

Featuring a tyro cast including Sam Neill, Rachel Griffiths. Geoffrey Rush and F. Murray Abraham (as Joseph Stalin), Children Of The Revolution swings from pop pastiche to a post-war history lesson, from moving drama to camp musical, all with a verve and confidence unthinkable from a first time director MIFF is proud to present the World Premiere of this bold new Australian feature film as its 1996 Opening Night attraction, (tb&ah)

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