For everyone Film review: Little Tornadoes (MIFF)

★★★★

Melbourne filmmaker Aaron Wilson astounded with his debut Canopy, which depicted the near-silent struggle to survive of a downed Australian air force pilot in the jungle after the fall of Singapore to the Japanese during WWII.

It’s been a decade-long wait for the follow-up to surface, even though it was shot back-to-back. Intended to be the centre of a trilogy, it relays the after-effects of war on the next generation.

Pine Gap lead Mark Leonard Winter plays the emotionally reserved son of that serviceman, struggling to look after his kids after his wife walks out. Co-written by The Slap author Christos Tsiolkas, it is set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Australia enriched by, but wary of, immigration. 

Silvia Colloca is magnetic as the Italian who comes into his life to help around the house, teasing open the long-bolted corners of his interior life. Her monologues sing with Tsiolkas’ particular insights and rhythm, and Wilson’s deft eye and ear for how a film should look, sound and feel help this intimate tale of turbulent times soar.

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