1 Jan 2009 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 27 May 2020 - 11:05 AM

Jila- Alice Haines - is the daughter of an Afghan cameleer and an Aboriginal woman. She had spent her early life with her mother and grandfather close to the Lutheran mission run by Pastor Hoffman - Bill Brown - and been great friends with the pastor`s son Johann. After the death of her mother, her father, Shir Mohammed - Sinisa Copic - arrives to claim his daughter and Jila grows into womanhood within the Muslim community of a ghantown. After some years Johann - Aiden Young - returns from Germany where he`d been sent to study music. On his way back to the mission he stays in the ghantown and sees Jila. He`s frustrated at not being free to talk to her and aghast when he discovers she`s about to be married to a much older man. Jila finds herself torn between all the cultures and religions she`s known ....Writer/director Mojgan Khadem has created an insightful and compassionate story. The film looks wonderful, Russell Boyd was the cinematographer. Performances are generally excellent, with Sinisa Copic outstanding as Jila`s father. The film does have a slightly old fashioned feel to it, it has a classic film narrative. But what`s refreshing is the dignity Khadem allows to each culture, each religion - no-one is demonised here. For a first time director, dealing with the difficulties this production must have encountered, she`s certainly achieved a lot.