The Boy Who’d Never Seen Rain is a strongly observed portrait of a family up against it in the Australian Outback. You see, years of drought and hard-luck have taken their toll on the Cobblin family. Patriarch Neil (Tim McCunn) views everything, everyone and any attempt to help with wounded pride and suspicion, while his wife, Rita (Lara Cox), tries to keep up a brave face. Secretly, all she can do is dream about what life was like before she became a wife and mother. Meanwhile, their son is almost lost in the shuffle. Extremely well made within its relatively limited aims, the film can’t quite escape the air of looking like a film school project. I’m not sure that’s in spite of evocations of Victor Sjostrom’s The Wind (1928) and King Vidor’s The Crowd (1928), or because of them. All the same, the film has an undeniable atmosphere and an unflinchingly gritty realism that make it worth a look. The film is being accompanied with a selection of award winning shorts.
Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present The Boy Who’d Never Seen Rain at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 15, at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library). Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com