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Celia: Child of Terror Movie Review

ann turner grown murgatroyd

Australian writer/director Ann Turner offers one of the few honest depictions of the dark side of childhood, as seen by a nine-year-old girl growing up in the 1950s. Rebecca Smart is remarkable as the little girl who turns to voodoo magic in an effort to cope with unfair grown-ups, unyielding politicians, and cruel playmates. The character of Celia has been compared by some critics to Rhoda Pen-mark in The Bad Seed, but the comparison isn't especially apt. Under less stressful conditions, Celia might have resorted to less drastic remedies to solve her very real problems. But, as the film makes clear, friends and grown-ups who might have provided solid sympathetic support are torn away from her for reasons her family fails to make clear to her. The only things that really belong to her are her rabbit Murgatroyd and her violent fantasies, and both serve as catalytic agents for her ultimate corruption. (It isn't giving away too much if I advise you not to get too attached to Murgatroyd.) Celia may be an exaggeration of reality, but not by much, and Celia was by far the best of 1990's Women in Film festival entries.

1990 110m/C AU Rebecca Smart, Nicholas Eadie, Victoria Longley, Mary-Anne Fahey; D: Ann Turner; W: Ann Turner; C: Geoffrey Simpson. VHS

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