Judy & Punch

Director Mirrah Foulkes / / Australia

Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman star in this delightfully offbeat feminist update of Punch and Judy from Mirrah Foulkes, making the leap from award-winning shorts to critically acclaimed feature filmmaking.

Judy and her husband Punch are travelling puppeteers who return home to the landlocked town of Seaside when their daughter is born. Seaside is far less sunny and pleasant than its name implies, its residents deeply superstitious and misogynistic types who enjoy a regular spot of witch hunting and public stoning. The outwardly charming Punch – who lives up to his name, especially after a slog on the grog – fits right in, but if Judy’s going to survive in Seaside, she’ll need to take a different approach.

Returning to MIFF after winning our 2016 Best Australian Short Film award for Trespass, Mirrah Foulkes has upped the ante with her feature debut. This live-action #metoo era reinterpretation of the 16th-century puppet show is a blackly comic and deliciously fiendish contemporary fairytale. Produced by Mr Inbetween’s (MIFF 2018) Michele Bennett and Nash Edgerton, Judy & Punch is a wild mix of fantasy, feminism and fanaticism that has cult favourite written all over it.

“Utterly bonkers but also sort of brilliant … a tonally complex comedy-drama about spousal abuse, infant mortality and misogyny told with magic tricks, puppets and slapstick.” – Hollywood Reporter

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