Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1983
Country: Great Britain
Run Time: 98 minutes

Zelda Barron has had a long career as a writer, script supervisor, producer and director's assistant for such filmmakers as Warren Beatty, Ken Russell, Michael Apted, John Schlesinger, Lindsay Anderson and Karel Reisz, among others, on films too numerous to mention. Her directing experience began with creating music videos for Boy George and other rock groups. SECRET PLACES is the English director's first feature, which she also wrote. The film warmly depicts schoolgirls growing to young womanhood during World War II. Laura (Marie-Therese Relin), her affected, drug-addicted mother and anti-Nazi father are German refugees settling in a provincial English town. At first, the newcomer's schoolmates greet her with hostility except for Patience (Tara MacGowran), a compassionate girl who takes Laura for her best friend. Meeting in secret places to discuss their budding sexuality and sneak smokes, the girls share their innermost thought and feelings. Coping with the devastating effects of the war and a lost friendship proves to be almost a losing battle for Laura. MacGowran, a young Maggie Smith, is superb in this sensitively directed drama.

". . .Zelda Barron. . .has a sure touch. Helped by cameraman Peter MacDonald she neatly handles both the moments of emotional intensity and lyrical wonder." -Variety

Zelda Barron (based on the novel by Janice Elliott)

Simon Relph, Ann Skinner

Peter MacDonald

Laurence Mery-Clark

Principal Cast
Marie-Therese Relin, Tara MacGowran, Jenny Agutter, Ann-Marie Gwatkin

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