OT: Haunting song, haunting film from Down Under


Ever since I first heard this song a few weeks ago as part of the soundtrack to an excellent 2009 Australian film In Her Skin I have been haunted by it. It’s a beautiful, powerful piece of music. (Sorry for the annoying ad at the beginning, but you can skip it after a few seconds.)

If I could buy the soundtrack I would, as there are several songs I really like, but it’s not available. I did purchase this particular song from iTunes and I suspect I will be making some sort of video set to it. The John Butler Trio is an Australian roots and jam band led by guitarist and vocalist John Butler. I will be listening to more of their music.

As for the film, it tells the true story of a 15-year-old  Melbourne girl named Rachel Barber who disappears one afternoon in 1999, leaving her family facing their worst nightmare.  Mr. and Mrs. Barber are determined  to find Rachel in spite of little initial assistance from the police, who assume she’s just another runaway teen. Great performances all around, including Guy Pearce and Miranda Otto as the concerned parents and Sam Neill as the divorced businessman and father of Caroline, Rachel’s former babysitter and neighbor.

Guy Pearce and Miranda Otto as the Barbers searching the streets of Melbourne for their daughter.

Ruth Bradley is simply outstanding as Caroline, a deeply disturbed young woman who knows much more about what happened to the promising young ballet dancer than she will admit. Written and directed by Simone North, the film shows great respect for Rachel and her family as the story unfolds. I should stress it is not for the faint of heart.

At the end of the film we see the real Rachel’s photo and I found tears coming to my eyes. Apparently in the DVD extras Otto begins to tear up more than once while discussing Rachel, obviously impacted as well by her story. I saw the film on satellite and have ordered the DVD; it is also available through streaming video at Amazon and, I am guessing, Netflix and similar sites. If you enjoy true-life mysteries that stick close to the facts and a story offering strong performances and taunt psychological suspense, I highly recommend this film.

Ruth Bradley and Sam Neill in a scene from “In Her Skin.”

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

16 responses »

  1. I don’t know the song, nor the movie. The plot seems interesting, I’ll put it on my list. thanks for the good advices.

  2. I’ve seen this film and it’s true that Rachel Bradley really is a talented actress. Did you notice she played in the Golden Hour and Ultimate Force ? Décidément le monde est petit !

  3. I was totally unaware of this movie for some reason. It has a wonderful cast, and when I looked it up on IMDB there were a lot of very familiar Australian actors listed aside from the leads. I really like the John Butler Trio so their music on the soundtrack is a bonus.
    Thanks for the heads-up, Angie, I’ll put it in my quickflix queue if it’s available.

    • From what I understand, Mezz, there was some legal wrangling involved with the production of the film and it wasn’t actually released all over Australia, which could be a good reason you aren’t familiar with it.

      I figured you would know a lot of the actors, as the cast appeared to pretty much be made up of Aussies. I wasn’t familiar with the John Butler Trio until I saw the film and heard this and a couple of their other songs on the soundtrack. The songs, like the film itself, stuck with me. I really like their music.

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