A lively retelling of Anton Chekhov'sclassic play Uncle Vanya, Country Life is an entertaining romp, lusciously capturing an era of Australian history with both pathos and aplomb. When prodigal son Alexander (Michael Blakemore) returns to his homeland in rural Australia, he brings with him beautiful English wife Deborah (Greta Scacchi, The Player) and settles into the dusty sheep station where his loyal and hardworking family have lived for generations.
Local doctor and resident charmer Max (AFI Award winner Sam Neill, Jurassic Park) becomes drawn to the flirtatious Deborah and the two raise scandalous suspicion within the otherwise conservative community. Frustrated by the arrogance and distraction of their new lodgers, hardworking proprietors Jack (AFI Award winner John Hargreaves, Don's Party) and Sally (AFI Award winner Kerry Fox, An Angel At My Table) take umbrage at the suggestion that they sell the farm and move on, determined to defend their estate by any means possible.
Also included in this exclusive presentation is Michael Blakemore's rarely seen 1981 autobiographical documentary A Personal History of the Australian Surf. Part parody, part memoir it is an insightful look at the early days of what has largely become a national pastime. Cheekily subtitled 'Being the Confessions of a Straight Poofter', Blakemore's cultural treat captures the innocence of surfing, highlighting the noble escapist values with both charm and idiosyncratic humour.