Experiencing Interruptions?

The Five Provocations

The lives of four very different people intertwine in this magic realist ensemble drama about dealing with loss and finding yourself. Marlena is secretly dealing with the loss of her married lover, Rosie. Rosie’s husband Paul is also going through his own grief. Meanwhile Marlena takes on a housemate, the timid and a little bit aimless, Bridget. Handyman Clinton grapples with parenting a teenage daughter and his own developing gender identity. Throughout the film these people will fall apart, but also come together and change each other’s lives. Amongst all this are the mysterious five provocations, played with mischievous charm by the stars of Australia’s cabaret scene Maude Davey, Yana Alana, Sarah Pax, Amanda Morris and the Town Bikes.

  • Angie Black
  • Angie Black
  • Angie Black
  • Atalanti Dionysus
  • Kelly Dingeldei
  • Kris Darmody
  • Sapidah Kian
    Key Cast
  • Rebecca Bower
    Key Cast
  • Tony Moclair
    Key Cast
  • Blake Osborn
    Key Cast
  • Maude Davey
    Key Cast
    "Provocateur One Woman In Fur"
  • Sarah Ward
    Key Cast
    "Provocateur Two Yana Alana"
  • Amanda Morris
    Key Cast
    "Provocateur Three Mother Creature"
  • Gabi Barton
    Key Cast
    "Provocateur Four Cunt Head 1"
  • Carla Yamine
    Key Cast
    "Provocateur Four Cunt Head 2"
  • Steven Gray
    Key Cast
    "Dutch & Provocateur Five Sarah Pax"
  • Matt Jasper
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Feature
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 34 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 20, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 28th Melbourne Queer Film Festival
    March 25, 2018
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • For Films Sakes
    April 12, 2018
    NSW Premiere
    Official Selection
  • AACTA Film Festival
    Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
    Official selection Indie Feature
  • Adelaide Film Festival
    October 17, 2018
    Australian New Wave
  • Melbourne Women in Film Festival
    February 23, 2019
    Offical Selection
Distribution Information
  • Label Distribution
    Country: Australia
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Angie Black

Angie Black is a multiple award-winning Australian filmmaker and director. Her debut feature film, The Five Provocations (2018) premiered at The Melbourne Queer Film Festival and was likened to “a Luis Buñuel or David Lynch film” at the Adelaide Film Festival and was selected to screen in the best independent feature film category in the 2018 AACTA Film Festival.
Black has directed more than ten short films, including disnature (2012) and Birthday Girl (2008), which have screened at festivals around the globe, including Locarno and Melbourne International Film Festivals. She is a recipient of the ‘Film Victoria’s Independent Filmmaker Fund’ for which she directed the award-winning short film Bowl Me Over (2001) winner best comedy St Kilda Film Festival and distributed by Palace Films. Black is a graduate of the Swinburne Film School, has completed a MA in screenwriting and a PhD on performance approaches in film production. She has directed television commercials, both locally and abroad and is Senior Lecturer in film narrative fiction at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), the University of Melbourne.
In 1999, Black founded Black Eye Films as an independent, Melbourne based, production-company that supports the promotion and visibility of women on and behind the screen.

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Director Statement

Perhaps it was being introduced to loss at an early age, my parents ran aged care facilities and I got used to losing friends, but I’ve always been interested in how we grieve. This film is about finding ways through grief and connecting with people who help you overcome the helplessness we feel around loss. Each of the four main characters in the film are displaced and although we don’t see the moments of loss, all of them are struggling to cope with the change that loss brings.

I wanted to make a film that was as unexpected as life with a narrative that explores the complicated moments and experiences of everyday people familiar to me in my world, yet rarely depicted on screen. We might think we have it all worked out as we plan for the future, but what happens when someone unexpected suddenly appears, someone so extraordinary that that chance meeting provokes a significant change in you?

With The Five Provocations I was interested in the idea of merging live performance work within a narrative fiction film. I love the way that performance art and live theatre connect and energise an audience. I thought if we capture some of the contemporary performances I’d seen in in the vibrant Melbourne independent theatre scene and drop them into a fictional narrative world, where neither the characters nor the actors playing them would know they were going to appear, we would get surprising unscripted and authentic reactions.

I’m always drawn to depictions of interesting, complex, determined and authentic characters on screen, especially female characters. For two years I worked separately with each actor to develop characters, with lives and histories that could operate in the real world. The character onscreen had to be as surprised by the performance pieces as an audience would be. For this reason I decided to conceal these performances from the actor. I called these performance scenes ‘provocations’ because they were specifically chosen to trigger suppressed emotions in the character. The five provocations in the film not only capture authentic reactions but also explore each of the emotional responses to provocation.