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89 minute feature film
Starring: Mary Salem, Chris Wallace, Patricia Towner, Juba Sinkala

     Directed by Rainsford 
Mother Mary Sex & Death is a transformative personal journey into a contemplation of sex and death as the ‘femme inspiratrice’

Uncompromising, award winning theatre director - Rainsford - renowned for his original stage productions; makes an authentic feature film debut in Mother Mary Sex & Death; an erotically charged visual poem that calls to mind the paintings of Edvard Munch.   

Five years after filming the last breaths his mother ever took, Rainsford emerges from a hiatus in his creativity to finally present a work that has been the hardest undertaking of his career. Driven by just a few last words his Mother spoke before she died,  and then contrasted by the vitality of life force with the filming of actual sexual encounters by his muse and co-creator, Mary Salem on an area of sacred coastline,  the film becomes a transformative personal journey into a contemplation of sex and death as the ‘femme inspiratrice’.   

Mother Mary Sex & Death is a rarely seen portrayal of an outward journey through the essential forces of life: sex and death, returning inwardly to exude a subtle sensuality in the physical closure towards death

‘This is a courageous personal work of film art. Chapel of Change’s theatre works have been seen on many stages the world over, but this is their first full length film. It certainly will not have mass appeal, it’s way too provocative for that; however along with its at times visceral appearance, its defiance of structural film norms, and its sex and death life serving content; it will be a film that nobody can forget.’
~ Timothy More


‘Rainsford’s auto-generic film provides a very personal bridge of realisation and discussion around the taboos of death and sex as connected to the feminine principles of life force and to the male creative drive drawn from the ‘feminine inspiratrice’. ~ Janice Neberra - RuStar

Transcript - Introduction speech by Rainsford,
World Premier: Mother Mary Sex & Death,
Vladivostok International Film Festival, Russia.
23rd September 2012.

Hello, my name is Rainsford, I am the Artistic Director of Chapel of Change, an Australian arts company based in Melbourne, Australia that produce works in film, in theatre and in dance.

Thankyou all for being here to share with me, the world premier, of Mother Mary Sex & Death.
Before I talk about the film, I would like to humbly thank the Vladivostok International Film Festival 10th Pacific Meridian directors, organisers, staff and volunteers for presenting this screening and making my first experience of Vladivostok a wonderful one: -

Its taken five years to arrive at this moment. The picture has had about six incarnations, twice we thought it was finished, twice we were wrong. The beginnings of this picture were unexpected, I had no idea at the time that I would end up filming my Mother’s last days, and it was with that footage, about ten hours of footage shot over a two week period that the work began to realise what this picture has now become.

Along the way, events and circumstances have haunted our perceptions, of ourselves as artists, of the ramifications of our own exposures as well as the voyeuristic nature of filming such content in place and time.

And these aspects became important to acknowledge, to work on and then to include in the work itself.
As well – we had to simply allow the film to become something it might ask of itself – if that makes sense – rather than a work that was sculptured by the expectations of what a picture should achieve; whether it be commercially or emotionally, dramatically or even in a documentary form.

It was hard to relinquish those expectations, and to work at a pure level of intimacy, where only the true nature of personal experiences around sex and death became the contemplation for the work. But then I think that’s always the hardest art to make; and to stay pure with it, and not end up in a stew of ones own contradictions.

What emerges is a sort of narrative outside the frame of the picture in equal measure to what’s inside the frame.  And I think that will be clear to you; what that does do in a way is limit the emotional attachments and we become simply observers of a natural death and of actual sex.

We know that there will be judgement made about its content, we know there will be judgements made about we the makers of the picture, but in the end these fall to a different dimension than the one this picture exists in.

And – there is nowhere to hide with a picture such as this, other than perhaps never to show it...! However working to release the temperaments of an artistic work is not new to us.  In the development of a Chapel of Change work much emphasise is made on relinquishing the external voices of social reasoning and judgement in order to be illuminated by an inner freedom; and once that inner freedom finds it’s expression it’s a beautiful thing.

I would like to acknowledge two women in this work: -

Mary Salem; a woman whose Egyptian heritage sometimes seems to just shift her into a timeless place,  Mary demands such personal freedom in the expression of her art she constantly humbles me.

And to my Mother, Patricia – one of the few things she expressed disappointment in during her last days, was that she would not be alive to see the finished film.   But who are we to know whether she is able to be here tonight!  So we have reserved her seat – over there – where I have placed a couple of her favourite scarfs; if you are here Patricia – hello, I miss you.

I was asked on the way in here, what do I feel about this know...this film is not for trumpet blowing fan fares, red carpet festivals or even marketing campaigns; even as a feature film it is a humble work, but with enormous context around the taboos associated with sexuality and death.

In the end, with this film I feel I am offering...a whisper from my heart...and if you hear it, I doubt you will not easily forget it.

So: – to Mother Mary Sex & Death.