Cape Province, South Africa. In a remote farmhouse, spinsterly Magda tends to her stern, imperious father. Life might continue this way forever, were it not for an intrusion into the household by a new maid that arouses a maelstrom (or Magda's dreams) of seduction, jealousy, murder and rape. Hänsel's stark adaptation (shot in English) of JM Coetzee's In the Heart of the Country is a strangely interior film, viewed through the lonely eyes of the repressed Magda (Birkin). As the film somewhat uneasily blends reality and fantasy, family bonds are twisted, master-servant roles are reversed, and 'the work of generations falls to ruins'. But for all its admirable evocation of Magda's mounting hatred and hysteria, Hänsel's approach is finally flawed by its careful adherence to introspective, literary qualities.