Some things are not as simple as they seem...
CLIFF: Look, Christine. I know you mean well. But there’s something else. Flo’s too old to look after Jimmy by herself. If we got rid of Julie it would mean the destruction of his whole family. He’d have to be placed somewhere else. And Flo needs his pension. She’s struggling to make ends meet as it is.
CHRISTINE: But it’s not fair.
CLIFF: It’s like a tripod. If you remove one leg the whole structure falls down.
Christine Feld is a former dancer who takes a job with a disability support service. She starts working at the house of Florence Hill, whose son, Jimmy, is intellectually disabled. Also living in the home is Julie, Jimmy’s sister.
Christine has heard stories of Changelings, who were children stolen by fairies. These babies were replaced by developmentally delayed children, or those with some form of physical deformity, and for a while she sees Jimmy in this light.
Christine begins to suspect that Jimmy is being mistreated by Julie. When she presents her evidence to her supervisor at the service, however, Christine finds that he is reluctant to act on her information. It’s not that he doesn’t wish to support Jimmy, but that he knows Christine hasn’t understood the complex inter-relationships that exist within the family.
Christine must decide whether she will stay working for the service. Will she be yet another in a long line of people to abandon Jimmy, or will she face her own fears and make a genuine contribution to his condition?
Facilitated by Wollongong City Employment and Training with funding coming from that organisation and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
Cast: Ann Burbrook, Hugh de Vaney, Lex Marinos, Lisa Stone and Heather Peckman
Written by Simon Luckhurst
Produced by Gerardo Ceres
Directed by Kate Wilson
About $5,000 with some wages coming from Wollongong City Employment and Training and in kind support coming from Relativity Studios.
Music for the film was composed by Ed Lee.
Notes on the Film
I had been working in disability support. Of course the idea for a film came while I was there. Ideally I would have liked to cast the film with some of the people I'd been working with, unfortunately this was not possible.
What became The Changeling isn't my only idea for a film with a similar theme, and I hope to write another one like it one day.
Shooting The Changeling was a lot of fun. Performances were great, locations were good and as you'll see from the photos below, there were some nice shots.
The photos were taken by Ed Lawler.
Ann Burbrook as Christine and Lex Marinos as Cliff.
Ann Burbrook as Christine.
Hugh de Vaney as Jimmy, Heather Peckman as Florence and Lisa Stone as Julie.
Ann Burbrook as Christine
Director Kate Wilson and writer Simon Luckhurst on location.