Logline: In a small rural town, a beaten middle-aged woman reaches breaking point as her cruel, con-artist husband attempts to corrupt a rookie police officer.
Synopsis: ANNE (50s) prepares dinner in a modest, Australian country home. A young police officer, LEE (late-20s), arrives and Anne invites him in. Lee then explains he’s been summoned to make a stolen property report: Anne’s husband, PAUL (50s), has called ahead and claimed his trailer has been stolen. Anne does not know anything about this but is grateful for the visit. Shortly after, Paul, a rough, brutish alcoholic, arrives home. He is surprised to find the young officer, who’s only just been transferred from the city. Paul shows Lee where the trailer once was, and Lee probes the older man for details. Lee refuses to make a statement, citing a lack of evidence, then leaves. Suspecting Anne might be hiding a warmth for the officer, Paul takes it out on her later in the bedroom.
Anne spends the next day gardening, enjoying a respite from her husband. Later that night, Paul returns and says he’s got evidence and that Lee is on the way. Sensing an opportunity to entertain, Anne suggests the younger man stay for dinner. Paul, initially failing to convince Lee with his doctored evidence, agrees. After they eat, the two men talk outside; Paul suggests him and Lee go on a fishing trip – this is code, he explains, for them going to a brothel. Later that night, Paul again takes out his aggression on his wife; this time it is especially brutal. The next day, we see Anne in the garden: she stares into oblivion; she is hurt and detached. As she prepares dinner, she hears Paul coming home and she suddenly starts shoving lettuce into the sink drain, causing a blockage. Moments later, Paul is under the sink, fixing the problem, naturally blaming Anne for it. She then grabs a knife and stabs him to death.
The next day, Anne arrives home with bags of soil. In the afternoon, Lee visits, yet again, but this time he’s there to take Paul down to the station; they’ve done some restructuring and need to talk to him. Recognising Anne’s fear and becoming suspicious, Lee investigates and discovers Paul’s half-buried body in the back yard. Anne is about to confess and Lee observes a beaten woman at breaking point. He takes mercy, offers a narrative: “Maybe he’s gone fishing? Perhaps there’s been an accident?” Anne, realising what’s going on, confirms Lee’s fiction. Later, as the sun sets, we see Anne watering a brand-new flower bed; it’s a large, human-sized mound of fresh dirt. It’s covered in bright, glowing flowers.
Directed by Roscoe Portelli and William Stanforth (Australia)