Celia’s world in Melbourne, Australia is inhabited by close friends, her loving pet rabbit, Murgatroyd, her belief in the magical world bestowed by her late grandmother and Hobyahs, the monster in the forest. This innocent and familiar world of hers ends, however, when her neighbors are accused of being socialists and taken away for political reasons and her loving rabbit gets confiscated in the national ‘Rabbit Confiscation’ movement, instated by the government to combat the 1957 epidemic. Her world thus endangered conducts a ritual to kill the police officer who took away her rabbit and her father who has seduced her neighbor.
Critics have highly praised Celia for its dispassionate and truthful depiction of the times, and its unemotional rumination on childhood fantasies and mysteries. The chaos rendered by Celia’s pursuit of her rabbit is a metaphorical criticism of bureaucracy, and the bleakness at the height of the film suggests the power of fairy tale fantasies to provoke and overthrow patriarchy and the state power. Celia, also known as a ‘the girl horror’ film, received the Jury’s award at the 11th Creteil Women’s Film Festival. (Kwon Eun-Sun)
Ann TurnerAnn Turner
Born in Adelaide, Australia in 1960, Ann Turner is one of the New Wave female directors who appeared in the 80s. After studying television & film at Melbourne’s Swinburne tech she entered the film industry. She came up with the story for Celia while reading an article in the newspaper on Melbourne’s ‘Rabbit Confiscations’ in the 50s. Turner began making the film after the screenplay was selected as the Best Unproduced Australian Screenplay. Celia turned out to be one of the most surprising debut films in Australia in the 80s. Truner’s other films include Hammers over the Anvil and Dallas Doll.