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1991 / 93 min / 35mm / Drama

Director:  Paul Cox

Producers:  Santhana Naidu, Paul Cox

Executive Producer:  William T. Marshall

Line Producer:  Paul Ammitzboll

Script:  Paul Cox, Barry Dickins

Cinematographer:  Nino Martinetti

Sound Recordist and Mixer:  James Currie

Production Designer:  Neil Angwin

Editor:  Russell Hurley

Music:  Paul Grabowsky

Cast:  Sheila Florance, Gosia Dobrowolska, Norman Kaye, Chris Haywood, Myrtle Woods, Ernest Gray


1991:  Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Feature Film Award;  AFI Award - Best Actress in a Lead Role - Sheila Florance

1992:  Flanders International Film Festival - Golden Spur


A WOMAN’S TALE is an uplifting story about growing old.  A tale of life, love, strength and hope.  Martha is a modern, spirited woman trapped in an old and decrepit body.  At almost 80 years of age, she has seen the good and the bad, and now offers her love and wisdom to all who are willing to listen. 


Martha’s closest ally and comrade is Anna, her District Nurse.  Martha has her own moral code and lives by her own rules.  The death of her neighbour, Billy, confronts Martha, extinguishing her passion and leaving her exhausted and depressed.  Martha’s son and the authorities decide it’s time for her to be committed to a home for the aged.  But Martha has other plans.  She cannot live without honour, and makes her own final decision.

Australian Screen Online - 2012

“Rarely has a film shown so eloquently that beauty is not a function of age, but of spirit.  Shelia Florance seems to be playing very close to her real personality, but that is part of what makes the film so moving.”


The Washington Post - Desson Howe - 1992

“Florance keeps a deeply affecting grip on this film. There is something agonising and beautiful about watching and listening to her swan song.”


Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert - 1991

“The best film I have seen in 1991.  Shelia Florance should get an Academy Award nomination for her performance which is without question one of the strongest of the year.”    


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