Australia. 2022. 90 min
A newly-single father struggles to weather the turbulence of change, while a new immigrant endeavours to find her place in a foreign land.
Set in 1971 rural Australia, Introverted Leo is a metalworker at his small town’s local plant. After his wife vanishes, leaving him to care for their two young children, he is bereft – barely able to cook a decent meal or keep the household running. So when a recently-arrived Italian colleague suggests that his sister, Maria, act as surrogate homemaker, Leo reluctantly accepts. But can one woman’s warm, nurturing presence fill the void left by another, and can Leo yield to the winds of change?
The film distils the many upheavals of 1970s Australia – from immigration and post-war resettlement, to urbanisation, anti–Vietnam War protests and the women’s liberation movement – into a narrative about one man’s struggle to adapt. LITTLE TORNADOES is a portrait of a country at a turning point and the human desire for connection.
Aaron was born in rural Australia and has lived and worked in and around his neighbouring South-East Asian region. He works as a director and writer across film, VR, multi-platform and installation. He is drawn to narratives that explore human vulnerability, and connection between peoples across neighbouring country and cultural divides.
In 2006, he was selected to take part in a filmmaker residency program with The Objectifs Centre for Filmmaking and Photography in Singapore where he developed the script for his debut feature, CANOPY (TIFF 2013). LITTLE TORNADOES is his second feature.
The film explores cross-cultural connection, vulnerability, and
the universality of such experiences as they relate to all of us
– men and women. In its broadest sense, the story of
LITTLE TORNADOES comments on the changing social
and cultural landscape in rural Australia in 1971, in a small
community still suffering the legacy of war.
The film’s story reflects on how World War Two has a lasting impact on families across the generations, and on the greater society. It opens with a young father tasked with raising his two young children — but he cannot do it alone.
He must rely on support from new Italian immigrants in town (who represent change and a different perspective on the world), while trying to manage the confused connection with his war-affected father (a representation of the past informing the future). The film looks inward at one person’s vulnerabilities in one small town, but it’s this daily human struggle that is relevant to us all.