Rolf de Heer’s audacious film takes the viewer into the mind of a seven-year-old girl whose parents are separating. Heer’s acute insights into a child’s mentality and speech patterns, his bold visual design and the quite amazing performance of Chloe Ferguson, his young protagonist, will rivet audiences.
Most of the action takes place in two rooms, the brightly painted bedroom of an unnamed girl and the bedroom of her parents next door. In addition, the entire film is seen from the child’s perspective; the viewer is given no information other than that available to her. When her parents talk to her, the girl remains silent but answers then in her thoughts, achieved by means of voiceover.
The drawings she spends so much time creating vividly reflect her hopes and fears, but the adults are unable to read the messages she’s sending them. She plays with Barbie dolls, experiments with an ordinary supermarket egg she hopes will hatch into a baby chick and lies in bed at night afraid of the panthers that might come to get her. And all the time she ponders why adults fail to understand her.
All technical credits are highly professional, with cinematographer Tony Clark giving the film a bold, bright look.