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LA SPAGNOLA

Australia, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Australian Showcase)

Director: Steve Jacobs

1960s Australia, not the swinging city, but a dusty fibro amidst scorched grass in the shadow of an oil refinery Lola (Lola Marceli) is an exotic Spanish woman, defiantly serving chorizos in a land of roast lamb and veggies. But her husband, Ricardo, has had enough of her fiery ways. He heads for calmer waters with his all-Australian mistress, Wendy, and the family savings. Lola and her adolescent daughter, Lucia (Alice Ansara), are left with a goat, a flock of pigeons and an empty refrigerator. An angry Lola struggles on but plenty of her temper lands on Lucia, who misses her father terribly. Lola's lust for revenge, partly fuelled by Ricardo's purchase of a shiny new automobile, drives a wedge between her and Lucia. Lola's procession of lovers widens the rift, especially when Stefano (Alex Dimitriades) seems just as interested in Lucia as her mother.

Director Steve Jacobs and producer/ screenwriter Anna-Maria Monticelli take a fresh and comical look at the cultural divide in this, Jacobs', directorial debut A tale of love and survival laced with a liberal amount of Mediterranean locura.

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