Jacqueline McKenzie (Angel Baby) is Daphne, a single woman living in Sydney in the 1890s, who runs a taxidermy service, inherited from her late father. Unable to accept his passing, she frequents a 'spiritualist photographer', who claims to summon the dead and then photograph their ghostly image with living relatives. Supplementing her income by renting out a room in her spacious house, Daphne's ordered world is shaken up when the handsome and brooding Nick (Jack Finisterer) knocks on her door looking for accommodation. Instead of complying with her rules—no alcohol and no visitors—Nick brings home 'loose' women, drinks to drown out the voices he hears at night and encroaches on Daphne's personal space. When she spies on him chopping some firewood, the possibility arises that instead of attempting to recreate life, she will actually begin to live.
Preservation boasts a wonderful cast, including Simon Burke (Travelling Light, screening in MIFF this year), and Kris McQuade (Ned Kelly), and top-notch production values to effectively create a haunting, Gothic melodrama.