Archive of films Beneath Clouds / Beneath Clouds

Australia
2001, 85 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2003

A delicate road movie about a brief encounter between blonde schoolgirl Lena, whom no one suspects is half Aborigine, and a young Aborigine delinquent named Vaughn who is filled with surprisingly intense hatred towards the world. Together the youngsters experience 24 hours of hitchhiking which will undoubtedly mark their lives.


Synopsis

Relations between native Australians and settlers have been a recurring theme in Australian cinematography. In his feature debut, Aboriginal director Ivan Sen sets the theme going once again, this time in the form of a road movie. Blonde schoolgirl Lena lives by a busy highway in a small town in New South Wales. According to her looks no one would guess that her mother is Aboriginal. One day the girl takes the bus to Sydney to search out her white father. A young man named Vaughn escapes from the juvenile facility (where he has been serving a sentence for stealing a car) and heads off to see his ill mother. The two young people accidentally meet at a bus stop and decide to travel the road together, hitchhiking and on foot. Vaughan is Aboriginal; he hates whites because, in his view, they are constantly trying to prove their superiority; he also hates himself. For the first time Lena comes up against racism, and for the first time realizes her identity. In contrast, Vaughan discovers what it is like to take responsibility. This delicate story, employing a minimum of dialogue, relates an encounter between two very different young people over the course of 24 hours. Ivan Sen shot it according to the rules of the genre, with various episodes taken from the road, and emphasis on the changing image of the unique Australian landscape.

About the director

Ivan Sen (b. 1972, Nambour, Queensland), originally educated as a photographer, studied film at universities in Brisbane and Sydney. He is one of the first Aborigine filmmakers, writing his own scripts and cooperating on the music. His short documentaries and features have taken a few domestic awards, for example Vanish (1998), Tears (1998), Wind (1999), and the medium-length drama Dust (2000), on which he co-wrote and co-directed. His feature debut, Beneath Clouds (2001), was awarded for direction and cinematography by the Australian Film Institute, and for Best Directorial Debut and Best Talent Award (to actress Danielle Hall) at Berlin.

Contacts

Autumn Films Pty. Ltd.
P.O.Box 241, NSW 2258, Ourimbah
Australia
Tel: +61 2 436 739 35
Fax: +61 2 436 739 35
E-mail: autumn_films@bigpond.com

Axiom Films
12 D´Arblay Street, W1V 3FP, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 728 777 20
Fax: +44 20 728 777 40
E-mail: mail@axiomfilms.co.uk

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
   
Director: Ivan Sen
Screenplay: Ivan Sen
Dir. of Photography: Allan Collins
Music: Alister Spence, Ivan Sen
Editor: Karen Johnson
Producer: Teresa Jayne Hanlon
Production: Autumn Films Pty. Ltd.
Cast: Dannielle Hall, Damian Pitt, Jenna Lee Connors, Simon Swan, Mundurra Weldon, Athol French, Judy Duncan, Kevin Pitt, Wayne Dargin, Doug Crichton
Contact: Autumn Films Pty. Ltd., Axiom Films
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