We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to turn Charlotte Wood's stunning novel The Natural Way of Things into a film. It speaks to ideas we have been feeling for a long time about our place as women in the media, Australia and the global community. This is not exclusive to us.
The Natural Way of Things is a story for our times: so clearly in the zeitgeist, so forcefully a comment on our society that it cannot and will not be ignored. We live in a seemingly enlightened time for women. But beneath the surface of aspirational Instagram accounts, plentiful contraception and Sex and the City fantasies lurks a darker underbelly; a time of slut shaming, twitter trolling, trial by media, ignored domestic violence; a time where the common catch cry seems to be “she asked for it.”
But a change is coming. A reaction to what is considered acceptable in our society: politically, legally, and socially, is happening. It’s starting small. Like the anger of the book's characters; girls locked up in Hardings’ prison for misfit women, it will continue to rise, and then burst forth, unstoppable, when no-one is expecting it.
This is why it is important we make this film now. Because right now, we are living in a time when the events of this story don’t feel far-fetched or far off. Because we want to be the first to explore this on screen. We don’t want to do this after multiple international films on the subject have been released, we want to be at the front of the pack.
Any screen adaptation of this work has the opportunity to build an exceptional female ensemble cast; it also has the opportunity to represent young Australian women on the screen in a contemporary and political sense—in an industry that often seeks to demote them to the supporting role of wife or girlfriend. In removing these women from the society that shunned them, The Natural Way of Things gives the characters the opportunity to be different to society’s perceptions. In a similar way, it allows the actresses involved in the project to delve into roles often denied to them due to their gender.
We want to inspire young Australian women by telling their stories, by showing them on the screen. We see this project as more than a film. We see it as part of a movement; a film that prompts audiences to say “How long will we take this? How far are we willing to let this go? When will we stand up and fight?"