Spiral Farm is an intriguing coming of age story that is set on a commune outside of a city. It follows a young girl as she starts to question the only life she’s known on the commune against the lure of the bright lights of the city. Should one follow their heart or their mind is the central question posed by Spiral Farm.
Spiral Farm tells the story of Anahita who we assume has grown up on the commune, spiral farm, with her mother Dianic (the glorious Amanda Plummer) and sister Sahaja (Jade Fusco). We watch her very ordered and limited life on the commune until she leaves for 24 hours to take part in a free dance contest and suddenly a world of opportunities opens up before her.
Spiral Farm is an assured feature length debut from Alec Tibaldi. The cinematography and pacing are good. There isn’t a lot of explanation and the audience are thrown into the limited action of the film in the opening sequence when Dianic (Amanda Plummer) is told off by her daughter for failing to attend morning ceremony. The evolution and inner conflicts experienced by Anahita are conveyed by Piper de Palma’s nuanced performance.
However, one major issue with the film is only Anahita’s character feels fully drawn. We understand what she desires and the changes she longs for. However, we never fully understand the motivation of the other characters, in particular when Sahaja (Jade Fusco) seduces Theo (Teo Halm). This entire sequence felt contrived.
The cinematography is wonderful and gives the film a lyrical feel. It has echoes of early Terrance Malick style filmmaking minus the fully formed story. Where the script is sometimes thin, the actors make up for it, Amanda Plummer and Piper de Palma, in her screen debut, really make the most of their screen time.
Spiral Farm is worth watching for a refreshingly different take on the coming of age genre and a surprising ending.
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