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Since her rock star dad Will was electrocuted in front of her in a horrific on-stage accident, eight year old Amy (Alana de Roma) can't hear or speak. Her mother Tanya (Rachel Griffiths) goes to the city to try to find a new life for herself and Amy. Doctors and specialists are unable to find any physical reason for Amy's silence, and it is not until Tanya's song-writer neighbour Robert (Ben Meldelsohn) discovers, the way to communicate with Amy is through music.

Review by Louise Keller:
Amy is a delightful story that explores the medium of music as one through which to communicate. It's a unique story that is timeless in its appeal, filled with drama and humour. Director Nadia Tass and writer/cinematographer David Parker have worked together for the entirety of their filmmaking careers, and the unity of thought, vision and image is evident in this film that took 10 years to make.

Now for the first time on DVD, Parker explains that the inspiration for the story came while watching a production of Man of La Mancha at Melbourne's State Theatre. That's when his mind wandered, and he considered what would happen if you could only communicate through song. Music has and obviously continues to play a big role in Parker's life - when he and Tass met, he was playing in a band, and she was the singer. They've always worked together - when they first met it was music, then in the mid eighties when they started making films together. 'It generally is very good' says Parker, of their working relationship, 'but we do have awful fights; it's not an unusual sight to see the whole crew diving for cover, while we 'discuss' a particular issue.' Tass talks about how they have learned to feed each other with the necessary stimuli.

In Amy, Parker has created an interesting mix of wonderfully absurd and eccentric characters, that are interwoven with others that are grounded and real. Rachel Griffiths and Ben Mendelsohn head a strong cast, and I especially like Susie Porter's off-the-wall hair-obsessed gal, who is out to kill the hairdresser (aren't we all?). But the shining star is Alana De Roma, the eight year old with liquid chocolate eyes, who sings like an angel and jolts the heartstrings.

Amy is a special film about a special little girl. We delight in getting to know her as she takes us on a journey in which we laugh as well as cry.

Published April 7, 2005

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AMY: DVD (M15+)
(Aus, 1997)

CAST: Rachel Griffiths, Ben Mendelsohn, Alana De Roma, Nick Barker, Kerry Armstrong, Jeremy Trigatti, William Zappa, Torquil Neilson, Sullivan Stapleton, Mary Ward, Susie Porter, Frank Gallacher, Jan Fridl, Malcolm Kennard

PRODUCER: Nadia Tass, David Parker

DIRECTOR: Nadia Tass

SCRIPT: David Parker


EDITOR: Bill Murphy

MUSIC: Phillip Judd (music recorded at Dickhead Studios)


RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen 16:9 enhanced;

SPECIAL FEATURES: 1998 interviews with Nadia Tass, David Parker, Rachel Griffiths, Ben Mendelsohn, Alana DeRoma, Nick Barber, Trailer


DVD RELEASE: April 7, 2005

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