Archives / 2000 Sundance Film Festival

Soft Fruit

Director: Christina Andreef

Screenwriters: Christina Andreef

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Following an auspicious career in short films, Christina Andreef dives headfirst into the realm of familiar dysfunction in this brilliant comic drama about the ties that separate and bind. Reminiscent of Muriel’s Wedding in its black-humored excesses and off-beat poignancy, Soft Fruit is a knockout debut: brave, incisive, and unfailingly endearing.

Against the smoke-swilled, steely backdrop of the industrial township of Port Kembla, a working-class family reunites to nurse its ailing matriarch, Patsy, through her final days. Long estranged and fiercely individualistic, four siblings assemble by their mother’s deathbed: Josie, the “Americanized” control freak; Nadia, the oversexed divorcée; Vera the retiring nurse; and Bo, the recently paroled felon.
Despite the inhospitable welcome of Vic, their abusive eastern European father, the children settle in, peppering their caretaking responsibilities with animated passages from Jackie O’s bio, recreational hallucinogens, crash diets, and bitter squabbles.

But as the forced family togetherness brings out the best and worst in them, Patsy makes her demands known and felt for the first time in her life. Abandoning chemo for Bo’s street morphine, Patsy finds her life turning a blissful shade of Camelot as she finds the courage to live, if not long, at least large and free.

An original tragicomedy that refuses categorization, Soft Fruit is simultaneously excessive and authentic in its dramatic storytelling and characterization of domestic life. Featuring inspired casting and performances of uncanny depth and nuance, the film has been heralded in its native Australia and abroad with a slew of audience and critics’ prizes

— Rebecca Yeldham

Screening Details

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