Dead Heart

Infidelity is a crucial part of a murder investigation and a self-conscious metaphor for cultural relations in the Australian village of Wala Wala, where contradictions between the laws of the aboriginal population and the laws a constable has been assigned to enforce spark violent confrontations with no simple resolutions. The constable (Bryan Brown, who also produced) is a terrifying, ambiguous good guy, as full of hypocrisy and mania as conviction about the ideals it’s his job to implement. From the opening shot, which severely compresses actors against the horizon in a vast desert landscape, to a closing sequence that contains an eerie acknowledgment of the role of the press in the story’s volatile events, this challenging 1996 drama uses every element in its technical arsenal in the service of its complex themes and is courageously sparing with the incidental music. Directed and written by Nicholas Parsons, based on his play. Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Friday, April 3, 7:00 and 9:00; Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00; and Monday through Thursday, April 6 through 9, 7:00 and 9:00; 773-281-4114.

–Lisa Alspector

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.