The Dreaming

The Dreaming | Mario Andreacchio | AU 1988 | 87 Min | DCP

When a group of Indigenous activists attempt to repatriate ancestral artifacts found in a cave on Australia’s Kangaroo Island, one of them is shot evading police and taken to a local hospital. When the patient dies in her care, the doctor attending to her experiences strange visions relating to violent events from the past. As scholar Alexandra Heller-Nicholas notes in Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched, 1988 was the Australian Bicentenary, and The Dreaming was one of few films to critique those celebrations by looking at the impact of colonial violence and its connection to gendered violence. Like director Mario Andreacchio’s Fair Game two years prior, The Dreaming deftly negotiates the line between an exploitation thriller and a timely social commentary that centers the female experience of violence, anchored here by a sympathetic performance by Penny Cook, then well-known from Australian TV’s A Country Practice, and some incredible yonic landscapes that give a uniquely Australian flavor to folk horror.

Mario Andreacchio
Andreacchio, Mario was born in Australia in 1955. Originally studying Experimental Physics but graduating in Psychology, he went on to train at the Australian Film and Television School as a film director. His debut feature Fair Game, a comic-book-like study of violence, has become a classic, as has his second film, The Dreaming. Most of his movies since the 1990s have been family-oriented, such as Napoleon, The Real Macaw, and The Dragon Pearl.
Language eOV
Cast Penny Cook, Arthur Dignam, Gary Sweet, Laurence Clifford, Kristina Nehm, Patrick Frost, John Noble
Writer Mario Andreacchio, Rob George, Stephanie McCarthy
Editing Suresh Ayyar
Cinematography David Foreman