BFI LFF 2019: Judy & Punch (2019)

Judy & Punch by Mirrah Foulkes is a feminist reimagination and reversal of the traditional, violent seaside Punch and Judy puppet show that takes it back its 16th century origins.

That's the Way to Do It

by Alexa Dalby

Judy & Punch

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

“Man and wife come to blows in this live action take on the classic puppet show.” – Screen Daily

“Mirrah Foulkes’ first directorial feature is a determinedly offbeat, often delightful mix of satire, whimsy and social critique.” – Variety

“…a tonally complex comedy-drama about spousal abuse, infant mortality and misogyny told with magic tricks, puppets and slapstick… Mr Punch (Damon Herriman), and his wife Judy (Mia Wasikowska), travelling puppeteers have returned with their infant daughter to Judy’s hometown, Seaside, a small hamlet nowhere near any actual sea, the name reflecting the generally dim intelligence of the populace. Despite mention of London being not that far away, the film was shot not in Britain but in a leafy forest in Victoria, Australia, which only adds to the discombobulated atmosphere, as does the mix of British Isles accents on display, ranging from Ulster guttural and near-impenetrable Highland Scots to cackling Cockney.” – Hollywood Reporter

Judy & Punch screens at the BFI London Film Festival on 12 and 13 October 2019 and is released on 22 November 2019 in the UK.

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