The Lotus Eaters (1993)
It’s 1964 on one of the Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver, BC. The Kingswoods – father Hal, mother Diana, late teen-aged daughter Cleo, adolescent daughter Zoe, and Hal’s long widowed mother Flora – are one of the leading families of the community. Hal is the principal of the public school. Diana knits goods for sale. They both tend to their small farm on the side, raising a small herd of pigs every year. And the family enjoys many of the activities that most islanders do such as sailing and hanging out on the beach. Beyond Hal and Diana not really understanding what Cleo sees in her boyfriend, Dwayne Spittle, their life seems perfectly and idyllically west coast on the surface. But underneath that surface bubbles a few problems with which each individual involved doesn’t want to deal. The first is a secret which Flora has been hiding for decades which has the potential to estrange her from Hal. And the second manifests itself with the arrival of new native francophone schoolteacher, Montréaler Anne-Marie Andrews who took the job in large part to escape a situation back home, and who her students, including Zoe, love, especially in comparison to the previous teacher, Mr. Austin. Despite bohemian and progressive Anne-Marie butting heads with staid Hal professionally, they end up embarking on an affair. For Hal, Anne-Marie represents the excitement of the new age that his routine twenty year marriage to Diana is now missing. Being a small island, Hal and Anne-Marie may not be able to hide their secret affair for long, and if they can’t, it has the potential to escalate the problems of the Kingswood parents to an irreparable state.
Director: Paul Shapiro
Actors: Aloka McLean, R.H. Thomson, Sheila McCarthy, Tara Frederick
Duration: 101 min