By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.
Rex, played by Michael Caton, is a cab driver who has never left the mining town of Broken Hill in his life. When he discovers he doesn’t have long to live, he decides to drive through the heart of the country to Darwin, where he’s heard he will be able to die on his own terms; but along the way he discovers that before you can end your life you’ve got to live it, and to live it you’ve got to learn to share it.
“This sweet-hearted film packs an emotional punch.” —New York Times
Last Cab To Darwin is a slice of life all the way from Australia about a man who has developed cancer and is at his wits end. He has been carrying on a long term affair with his neighbor who is aboriginal, and whose relationship at first glance appears acerbic.
The late Ningali Lawford-Wolf, who suffered a fatal asthma attack while performing in Sydney, Australia, fewer than three months ago, was great in her role as Polly, who lives directly across the street from Rex.
Rex decides to seek the help of a physician who is just about ready to offer euthanasia services, but she’s more than 1,000 miles away.
He is willing to leave Polly; their relationship has never been accepted by the community. However he can’t really leave home, as he keeps calling back home trying to reach her.
As he gets closer to ending his life, he is forced to reflect upon the goodness of it all.
Other titles include “Mountain” about a young Orthodox Jewish woman who becomes involved with a nocturnal community of prostitutes and drug dealers. Tzvia lives with her family in the Jewish cemetery on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives. During the day, while her husband and children are at school, she is left alone on the mountain. She goes for walks in the cemetery, trying to escape the endless house work. One night, to her surprise, she is exposed to an unsettling sexual scene. Stirred by this image, she starts exploring this new realm of the mountain, while trying to keep a normal face during her daytime routine.
“Tokyo Fiancée” is about a French tutor living in Tokyo. Imagine a quirky mashup of “Amelie” and “Lost In Translation.” There is also a collection of more than 30 thought-provoking films on climate change.
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Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is the Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Crusader newspaper. She is also the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood–South Side of Chicago.” For book info, [email protected].