The Lethal Innocents
Rita, a 15 year old girl who dances to a different beat, is relentlessly bullied by the queen bees. When they kill her cat, they go one step too far.
Director’s Statement - Kirsty Cameron
In The Lethal Innocents I wanted to create a suburban fable to tell the story of a girl who does not conform to the cliched ideas of teenage right and wrong. These girls can be called many things – odd girl out, social misfit, outsider, weirdo, freak….. the list goes on. They are different and therefore often used as scapegoats as they threaten the accepted norm.
Many teenagers who experience this reality attempt desperate measures to escape or to protest, suicide is common, and recently Elizabeth Bush, a 14 year old who I have used as a source of inspiration, took a gun to school and shot the girl who had hurt her most. So the shape-shifting of Rita is a metaphor for this desire to disappear, to escape the calculated wrath of the queen bees, and also useful in the desire for revenge. This suburban fable of metamorphosis has many layers I am interested in:
· Girls / women who are wayward or different.
· The identification of young girls with animals, especially the cat which doubles as a cute fluffy thing and self-sufficient loner.
· The proliferation of shape-shifting in fairy tales, the stuff that girls are brought up on.
· Adolescence as a time of emotional turmoil, great drama and heightened sensitivity.
· The trepidation which teenage hood holds for those who don’t conform to accepted rules of aesthetic and being.
· The portrayal of that which lies beneath the surface.
Influences include the fictional stories Metamorphosis by Kafka and Lady into Fox by David Garnett, the films Repulsion by Polanski and Carrie by De Palma, the children’s stories The Boy and the Magic by Collette and Harriet and the Matches by Dr. Henrich Hoffmanm. The bullying is based on testaments of kids who have been bullied, and the absolute relentlessness of it.
The Lethal Innocents is also an ode to my recently departed cat and soul mate Mister Brown.