The Great Maiden’s Blush is a drama about two single first-time mothers from opposite sides of the track. The younger one, the working class, loner Bunny, is a taxi-driver and a girl-racer. She's serving a sentence for manslaughter for killing a man during an illicit street car race. When we meet her, she has been released from prison to hospital to deliver her baby, and she’s heading back to prison after the birth. With no father or family on the scene, she has no option but to give him up for adoption, an apparently straightforward transaction except she falls in love with her baby. So she’s doing her damnedest to repress her growing love and it’s killing her.
But her roommate, Aila, an older single first-time mother, a failed classical pianist, a gardener and lover of old roses, whose own much wanted baby is about to undergo a major heart operation and may not survive the journey, takes Bunny under her wing, and shows her a way whereby she can keep her baby in her life, but only if she faces up to the father of the man she killed. But Aila has her own secrets as Bunny discovers – and both women are forced to confront their pasts, face the men in their lives, and admit to the truth of the paternity of their newborn babies.
The film takes the audience on a journey rich with contrasting cinematic imagery - of opera and drag-racing, domestic gardens and industrial wastelands - as the narrative weaves its way through past and present. It’s a story of compassion and love and friendship, of overcoming adversity however heart-rending the journey, and above all, this is a story of the redemptive power of truth.
Above: Director Shane Loader with DOP Waka Attewell
Below: DOP Alun Bollinger