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Fistful of Flies

Fistful of Flies (Monica Pellizzari, 1997) Dina Panozzo, John Lucantonio, Anna Volska, Tasma Walton, Danielle Grima, Eamon Davern, Giordano Gangl, Rosalba Paris, Mario Gamma, Tony Poli, Rachael Maza, Cathren Michalak, Michael Tama, Maria Venuti

Sixteen-year-old Mars wants more from her life than just a fistful of flies which, to her, is a fistful of nothing. Stifled and dominated by her family, Mars just wants to be free. Denied relationships with the people who truly understand her, Mars battles her family on her own, and in her quest to be treated as a grown-up she gives her mother the courage to act and forces her father to make the choice of his life. A story about how a young girl finally finds the courage to have faith in herself.

Notes from the IFF Rotterdam 1997:
Australia is developing into a fertile film country with new talents continuously emerging. Rotterdam is screening a lot this year. Fistful of Flies, the feature d├ębut of Monica Pellizzari, is a personal black comedy about a girl of 16 who becomes a woman in strict and hypocritical surroundings. It looks as if it is a separate genre down under: girls who rebel fiercely and provocatively against their parents. Fistful of Flies is reminiscent of Heavenly Creatures, you can detect the influence of Jane Campion, and also some similarity to the work of Marleen Gorris, in a sharper style.
I wanted to keep an interview with Pellizzari for the Rotterdam special of de Volkskrant, in the expectation that Cinemien would buy the film. But even this distributor can only make a limited selection from the films on offer. That's a pity. Fortunately it will be screened at Rotterdam and maybe a distributor can still be found. Fistful of Flies: warmly recommended.
Peter van Bueren


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