Shot on 4K, the aesthetic that underpins Disclosure is drawn from the concept of ‘traumascapes’ articulated by Melbourne-based writer and academic Maria Tumarkin.
The idyllic setting for the film is Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges. At the heart of this landscape is the first-world icon of the private swimming pool, sitting just out of reach of the soaring gums and tangled native bush of a nearby creek. This physical proximity serves as a metaphor for the temporality, and fragility, of Western bourgeois cultural values in a landscape that for tens of millennia had been the home of the indigenous Wurundjeri.
To evoke the layers of trauma that reverberate through the drama of Disclosure, and the landscape in which the story takes place, we have applied a bold grade that overlays an oppressive feel to the temperate rainforest and plush first-world settlements of Australia’s Dandenong Ranges.
Sound design and music are key to building the dramatic tension in which the narrative lurches from friendship and cooperation to ferocious rage and destructive aggression.
Water Birth, composed by Michael Bentham, performed by the Invictus Quartet, recorded by
Guus Hoevenaars at Newmarket Studios, Melbourne.
It is rare that a compelling story, which has the right elements to make an effective micro budget drama, comes your way. Disclosure is one of those projects.
A tense psychological drama, Disclosure draws our audience into the world of two empathetic protagonists, soulmates Danny and Emily, as they respond to the horror of their 4-year-old daughter’s disclosure of sexual abuse at the hands of their friends’ 9-year-old son. When Danny and Emily reach out to the parents of the accused, in a bid to tackle the issue constructively, they are instead forced to counter an increasingly brutal attempt to retract their accusation.
At a time when the #MeToo campaign is capturing the public zeitgeist, Disclosure expands the conversation to tackle the issue of child-on-child sexual abuse. The alarming scale of this problem, still mired in secrecy and denial, is being brought into the public domain by a slew of academic papers, articles and news reports across the developed world.
In a market primed for a discussion about this subject, Disclosure engages the audience with a powerful story of trauma, revenge, doubt and despair, as the ethical, emotional and professional dilemmas faced by the four main characters are exposed.
Disclosure is writer/director Michael Bentham’s debut feature, and continues the line of outstanding debut films emerging from Melbourne-based directors, including Justin Kurzel (Snowtown) and David Michôd (Animal Kingdom). Michael’s realisation of this bold and dramatic piece cleverly couples a Kubrick-esque visual style with black comedic beats, differentiating it from the wider independent Australian scene.