Apocalypse Films is proud to present to you the unclassifiable short film from director-artist Siobhan Jackson, Donkey in a Lion’s Cage.
SYNOPSIS: In an anonymous, shambolic, post war world, a woman finds herself threatened, at gunpoint, by a nervous young soldier. Unable to read his motives the woman is forced to make a life and death decision. When the moral compass breaks, how do we behave?
Siobhan Jackson is an uncompromising writer, director, artist, teacher and researcher. Donkey in a Lion’s Cage is the second instalment of a silent short film trilogy collectively entitled Killing Her Quietly. Siobhan has recently completed a feature-length, screen adaptation of an award winning Australian novel, developing her first novel and co-writing, co-directing and co-producing an improvised feature film entitled, You Can Say Vagina.
The film is wonderfully anchored by the sensitive performance of Katherine Tonkin as a lone woman in a mans’ world after the devastation of war. Tonkin’s wordless yet highly emotional portrayal of the nameless survivor is a complex combination of stoic and vulnerability. Tonkin’s solid central turn allows the supporting roles, played by Evan Lever, Martin Blum, Trevor Major, Tom McCathie and Heloise Jackson, to revel in their unnerving tone.
Cinematographer Max Davis unconventional use of zoom lens and simple lighting perfectly captures the post-war European sensibility that Jackson aimed for. This is the third outing in the ongoing collaboration between Apocalyspe Films and Max Davis, having previously worked on The Messenger and Dunira Creek. The production design, by Bec Kingma, fills in the details of the beautifully constructed mis-en-scene of Donkey in a Lion’s Cage.
Whilst the film is free of dialogue, the post-produced soundtrack – and avant-garde mixture of digetic and non-digetic synch and music. The sound designer, Paul Fletcher, captures the rampant confusion of the characters and extends that feeling to the audience via the score.