Essential Fiction
2014 (95mins)
Dir: Daniel Barber

The Keeping Room

It’s difficult to go past a good Western for a rip-snorting big screen experience - and The Keeping Room delivers in every way… with a welcome sting in the tail.

With great attention to art direction and period detail, The Keeping Room is set deep in America’s South during the Civil War.

Here we come across three women (played by Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld and Muna Otaru) doing their best to eek out a subsistence living from their increasingly unmanageable land. With all the men at war the women - two sisters and a one-time slave - live as simply as they can in their crumbling rambling farm house.

Unfortunately for them, things are about to get a whole lot tougher as two scouts from the Union army (one played by our own Sam Worthington) cross paths with the women, forcing a situation not too different to that of the Rod Lurie classic Straw Dogs.

Violence and revenge ensues as these women do whatever it takes to survive and win - but not without cost.

It’s great to see women characters dominating so strongly in the most masculine of film genres and gee, do they turn it on!