Melina makes a day-long bus journey to travel to a remote opal-mining town to visit her estranged, ailing father in hospital. She’s not entirely sure why she has accepted his ambivalent summons, or why she stays once she arrives, but as Melina is drawn into the outback community and comes into contact with some of its seemingly hard-bitten, resilient loners, she discovers that there’s more to the isolated community than she first assumed – and perhaps more for her to discover about herself.
A compelling, impressionistic drama, Strange Colours is the assured narrative feature debut from Russian-born, Australian writer-director Alena Lodkina, who explored similar territory in her 2017 documentary short, Lightning Ridge: The Land of Black Opals, which inspired the film’s setting. Developed through the Venice Film Festival’s Biennale College, Lodkina has transitioned to feature filmmaking with well honed stylistic and thematic intuition, producing a slow-burn drama of grace and power, that revels both in the singular landscape of the Australian outback and the psychological dimensions of its female protagonist.
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