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:: TERRA NOVA

Terra Nova is the name of a run down, low rent apartment block which serve as sanctuary for a woman on the run. Ruth (Jeanette Cronin) is a single mother who has fled to Australia from New Zealand and her parents, after stealing her daughter Tuesday (Eloise Etherington) away from them. Through flash-backs and various manic episodes, we glean that she is escaping her domineering father who took Tuesday away and placed Ruth in psychiatric care for what appears to be post-natal depression. Inevitably her parents track her down to Australia, but not before she has found herself and a certain strength from the inhabitants of Terra Nova.

Each eccentric character in the squalid house seems to reflect an aspect of her madness. Simon (Paul Kelman) is the aggressive, masculine side who repulses her with his violent ways of solving problems, and yet she still falls for him and his role of protector. His little brother Dud (Trent Atkinson) is representative of her caring, artistic side, as he paints and draws and baby-sits Tuesday. Margie (Angela Punch McGregor) assumes the role of mother to the household, while the lunatic and unpredictable Neo-Nazi Warren (Teo Gebert) encapsulates all her fear and terror.

First time director Paul Middleditch conceived and wrote the story based on actual characters he knew back in his native New Zealand. It is this personal aspect, as well his sensitivity and empathy with the madness of
the various characters which lend this film its intimate and honest qualities. Paul tells the story of Ruth as someone who has lost everything we judge ourselves by. She's had her money, her belongings, her family,
identity and sanity stripped from her. All she has left is herself and a desire to do what's right for Tuesday. She also comes to learn that the only person she can rely on is herself. The three principal actors are
positively luminous and bring a great deal of honesty to the film. The audience feels for their situations and is left with the hope that Ruth is the one who has finally been honest with herself, has faced her demons and
will be OK.