Magda (Jane Birkin) stands outside a farmhouse in rural South Africa's heat awaiting her gruff father. She looks at him with a glance which was once loving, but now exudes bitterness. Loneliness has eroded her personality.
After Le lit, director Marion Hänsel once again filmed an adaptation, this time In the Heart of the Country by J.M. Coetzee. Here, too, there are complex emotions in an isolated location. Birkin excised all her glamour to play Magda, who sees her desire for tenderness answered with indifference. Things turn grim when her father rapes one of the worker's wives even though Magda's grip on imagination and reality is tenuous at best.
The resolute, frill-free and powerfully shot Dust is not just about an emotionally confused woman, but also about power dynamics between men and women, fathers and daughters, Caucasians and Africans. Winner of the Silver Lion in Venice.