A Woman's Tale

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Australia's art house maestro deals here with the life of an eccentric 80-year-old woman suffering from terminal cancer. Martha (spunkily played by the delightful Florance) is not one to be daunted by the failure of the flesh. Her spirit is alive and well, and she gives to her friend, district nurse Anna (Dobrowolska), as good as she gets: love and support. Martha's son (Haywood) doesn't understand her fierce independence (or much else, to her chagrin) and tries to place her in a home - over her dead body! She's happier with her budgie Jesus, her books and painting, her confused and bedridden ex-RAF officer neighbour, and the prostitutes in the local park. It's an affirmative film, and a restrained one for Cox, who uses Florance to explicate his askance view on life: one that has little sympathy for landlords, closed minds, or people who refuse to take responsibility for (and joy in) their own lives.

By: WH

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Paul Cox
Screenwriter: Paul Cox, Barry Dickins
Cast: Sheila Florance
Chris Haywood
Gosia Dobrowolska
Norman Kaye
Ernest Gray
Myrtle Woods