Melbourne based filmmaker Luci Schroder serves up an unflinchingly raw slice of reality in the form of Slapper, a short feature which follows destitute teen Taylah, who is desperately in need of some quick cash for the morning-after-pill, following a brief and unceremonious sexual encounter.
Shot unstylishly in my home town of Morwell, situated in the heart of the Latrobe Valley, there was a moderate amount of buzz among locals during its filming. While it’s a definite plus for the community to have their town chosen for the setting, I think it’s unfortunate that Morwell has reached the point where fits the criteria of an urban wasteland with relative ease. Sapphire Blossom is convincing as the rebellious Taylah, uncomfortably vile at times, but a sad victim of circumstance, an all too common occurrence among youth in rural areas.
Not since the first time I watched The Basketball Diaries have I felt such a feeling of despair. Slapper certainly won’t life your spirits, but despite some common tropes and familiar territory, it’s a powerful piece of work.
(2016, dir: Luci Schroder)