Dramatically Black - Plains Empty: Flies, heat and dust

Dramatically Black - Plains Empty: Flies, heat and dust
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
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The nearest neighbour (Gerard Kennedy) to Sam (Ngaire Pigram), is somewhat of a recluse and abrupt. Sam knocks on his door and offers him cigarettes in exchange for information about the history of the young girl whose ghost is haunting Sam. Summary by Romaine Moreton

Title Synopsis

An enthralling drama about a young married woman who, left alone in the mining fields, encounters a ghost of the past.

Title Curator's Notes

Beck Cole continues with the theme of ghostly apparitions and visitations and, in this enthralling drama, exploits the vacuous space of the mining fields, where a young woman, left largely to her own devices, is drawn into uncovering hidden stories of the past. A wonderful drama and one from a bevy of emergent filmmakers that marks the maturation of Indigenous filmmaking, in that the themes explored in this film are not strictly demarcated or restricted by the character’s cultural identity.

Plains Empty is a human drama about a young woman named Sam (Ngaire Pigram) who, while intensely alone in the mining fields, encounters the spirit of the past. The spirit of a young Aboriginal woman haunts Sam, who begins to question what it is the spirit is asking of her. Plains Emptycan function as a metaphor for the whole Australian landscape, where the living characters are beset by the spirits of the past, and at no time is the past truly absent.

Beck Cole has also made Flat (2003), Wirriya: Small Boy (2004) and Skin Sisters.

Other films in the AFC Indigenous Branch drama initiative Dramatically Black are The Djarn DjarnsSa Black ThingGreen Bush (all 2005) and Crocodile Dreaming (2006).

Notes by Romaine Moreton

Production company:
Film Depot
Kath Shelper
Beck Cole
Beck Cole
Josef Ber, Tina Bursill, Gerard Kennedy, Kerry Naylon, Ngaire Pigram
Produced with the assistance of the Indigenous Branch of the Australian Film Commission.