Little Tornadoes (2021) [Feature]

Australia (MIFF 2021 )
Director: Aaron Wilson

Co-written by The Slap author Christos Tsiolkas, this affecting period drama depicts a newly-single father’s efforts to weather the turbulence of change – in his life and in the world around him.

Introverted Leo is a steelworker at his small town’s local plant. After his wife abandons him without explanation, leaving him to care for their two young children, he is bereft – barely able to cook a decent meal or keep the household running. So when a recently-arrived Italian colleague suggests that his sister, Maria, act as surrogate homemaker, Leo reluctantly accepts. But can one woman’s warm, nurturing presence fill the void left by another, and can Leo yield to the winds of change?

The accomplished second narrative feature from MIFF Accelerator Lab alumnus Aaron Wilson (Canopy) distils the many upheavals of 1970s Australia – from immigration and post-war resettlement, to urbanisation, anti–Vietnam War protests and the women’s liberation movement – into a narrative about one man’s struggle to adapt. The moody, textural cinematography by Stefan Duscio (The Dry) conjures a rural backwater that is both specific to its time period and almost untethered from time, while the performances by Mark Leonard Winter (Balibo, MIFF Premiere Fund 2009) as Leo, Robert Menzies (Glitch) as his traumatised WWII-vet father and Silvia Colloca (Van Helsing) as Maria inject spirit into a story with loss at its core. Supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund, Little Tornadoes is a portrait of a country at a turning point and the human desire for connection.

Select Festival

Search the film archive