Review | A young man’s coming out sparks catastrophe in ‘Greenfield’

Greenfield | Dir: Julius Telmer | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Just after dawn, the country town of Greenfield is coming to life and James (Ethan Tomas) is dropped off by a truck driving through. As he walks to his destination, a huge party is getting underway to welcome Kelley back to town after she had spent 10 years in Perth. City boy James is on a mission to win back his former girlfriend – country girl Kelley (Marthe Rovik) who broke up with him to returned home.

This compelling indie-drama was filmed entirely in Merredin by Danish filmmaker Julius Telmer. It is a snapshot of small-town Australia, complete with dew on rusty clothes hoists and spitting contests while sitting on the trailer in the back yard. As the outsider, James is able to see some interesting dynamics and he is puzzled as to why Kelley would return to a place where women are treated to badly.

Notions of masculinity are explored as the males have metaphoric pissing contests, bully and belittle those who don’t fit in and throw punches when all else fails. As Telmer says, “Greenfield is a place where men don’t talk about feelings, they get into fights, drink alcohol, hang out at the local burnout spot and flog their fast cars and motorbikes”.

As is the way in many small towns, atrocities are not reported and some of the characters are really suffering with the amount of abuse they have endured. When Kelly’s brother Michael (Liam Graham) accidently reveals his hidden homosexuality, it sets off a catastrophic chain of destruction.

After being cancelled by the Covid restrictions, Greenfield will now have its opening screening on Thursday 13 May at 6pm at Luna Leederville. The gala event will have a Q&A, moderated by Annie Murtagh-Monks.

Audience members will be able to talk with producer Daniel Tenni and some of the local acting talent including Ethan Tomas, Claudia Cirillo, Liam Graham and Bella Broadway of Connection and Wellbeing Australia and ask questions.

Lezly Herbert

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