Directed by : Ben HACKWORTH

  • Year of production : -1
  • Country : Australia , Australia
  • Length : 108 minutes


The film spans the last days of Bette, an eccentric older woman who lives in a dilapidated jungle castle in North Queensland. With the help of her young gardener, Jack, Bette conspires a bizarre Carnival for death to reunite her with her long-lost Portuguese lover. Jack's older sister Natasha returns with Bette's grandson Johannes from Berlin to help with the preparations for the event and reunite with her brother. But as the week progresses, it becomes clear to Natasha that there are darker intentions at work: a secret suicide pact between Jack and his elderly employer, a drug dependent relationship with local thrift store owner Rita and a sub­conscious desire to punish Natasha for leaving. As Natasha attempts to regain order in the chaotic world, Jack is forced to decide whether he will fight for his happiness or create further destruction.


This story weaves autobiography and fantasy. In an attempt to recreate a dream landscape, I have chosen to focus on the unusual moments which come from everyday motivations. A natural tension will occur between the realistic motivations of the characters and the seductive texture of a decaying jungle castle. Despite the chaos and drama these characters create, the natural world has the final say. It is still and powerful and will ultimately reclaim its authority. The location is auth­entic and exists to this day in far north Queensland. In the 1930s, a Portuguese man built a jungle park as a love song for his wife. This will provide a vivid backdrop for the drama which unfolds. The relationship between Jack and his sister is based on my family and the characters are informed by my direct experiences. There is nothing flashy or overt about the visual style. I prefer the energy to come from the mise-en-scene and the mystery to be aroused by what we do not see (or hear) in the frame. While the references to cinema and camp aesthetic abound, I will strive to create the organic quality of the story world.


Ben HACKWORTH - Director


Language film : English
Working budget: 3,5M €
Financing acquired: 1,1M €




L'Atelier 2008