The Plains

Director: David Easteal
Origin: Australia (2021)
Language: English

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Settle in for a one-of-a-kind road movie: this intriguing, intimate epic charts the personal ebbs and flows of two men in conversation across the highways and byways of Melbourne.

It’s a deceptively simple premise: every day at 5pm, a middle-aged lawyer makes the journey home through traffic to Melbourne’s outer suburbs – sometimes talking on the phone with his wife or ailing mother, sometimes sharing the ride with a younger colleague. But despite never leaving the confines of the car, or its fixed-camera perspective, this hypnotic, wholly original docu-drama becomes a fascinating look at the rhythms of daily life and the unexpected tenderness that develops between relative strangers.

Driven by its enigmatic setup, David Easteal’s feature debut is a road movie that unfolds on its own, unique existential path. Feted at Rotterdam (where it was only the second Australian title to ever vie for the Tiger Award) and Cinéma du Réel, this is a quiet film with bold artistic incursions, taking audiences on an affecting, dryly humorous ride through singular cinematic terrain. With The Plains, Easteal invites us to contemplate the little things, and to open our eyes to the cumulative profundity of the everyday.

“Evocative [and] soul-replenishing … An astonishingly full-rounded, richly textured portrait of a life, epic in size and scope.” – The Film Stage

Please note: MIFF’s full program will launch on Tuesday 12 July. Tickets will be available to MIFF Members from Tuesday 12 July and to the general public from Friday 15 July.

If you require any access service, such as wheelchair/step-free access, for any MIFF session, please email to book your ticket.

Key Cast
Andrew Rakowski, Cheri LeCornu, David Easteal
David Easteal
David Easteal
David Easteal
Simon J. Walsh
David Easteal
Premiere Status
Victorian Premiere