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This Filthy Earth

It’s five years now since the road movie-cum-autobiographical essay Gallivant introduced the impressively idiosyncratic work of Andrew Kotting to those unfamiliar with his shorts. This follow-up, partly inspired by Zola’s La Terre and Berger’s Pig Earth, adopts a similar viewpoint to recount a fictional tale of familiar and social strife. Sisters Francine (Rebecca Palmer) and Kath (Demelza Randall) work a rundown farm left to them by their parents. Though neighbour Buto (Shane Attwooll) sired Kath’s Emma, he pays mother and child no mind till he realises marriage might pay property dividends, even as he openly lusts after Francine. As the squabbles over land, bodies and blood spiral towards stormy conflict, Kotting uses cutting-edge variegated digital visuals and art direction to plunge us into a stagnant, oddly timeless world of earthy physicality.
U.K., 2001. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 111mins.

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