Movie director, Ray Lawrence’s third film in 20 years makes its UK premiere tomorrow as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and, in Spike’s opinion, it is a worthy successor to his highly-praised last feature, Lantana.
Jindabyne is based on the short story, ‘So Much Water, So Close to Home’, by Raymond Carver, whose pen was also behind the film, Short Cuts, and is the only Australian film to be screened at the festival.
Gabriel Byrne stars as a frustrated Irish mechanic in New South Wales whose discovery of a dead girl’s body whilst on a fishing trip exposes the latent tensions in his family and the lives of the small town community of Jindabyne, New South Wales.
The idyllic setting for the fishing trip and the happy smiles of Byrne’s friends as they land a fish are given a sinister edge by the presence of the floating body, which, rather than report, the group decide to leave tethered to the riverbank until their trip is over. The deceased is of
aboriginal descent, and the film explores the racial tensions present in this part of the world.
Yet the film is not a statement of political correctness rather an examination of very human emotions and actions: guilt, blame, remorse and loss. The viewer is gripped by the close-knit relationships, sometimes too close, of the community and how quickly the peace of the outback,
beautifully reproduced on screen, is shattered by the men’s discovery. By delving into the lives of several characters and their reaction to events, each with their own flaws, the viewer is made to feel