Sweet River (2020) - full transcript

Hana's search for her son's body leads her to the sleepy town of Billing, where her investigations uncover more than she expected and threaten to expose the town's secrets - secrets that both the living and the dead will fight to protect.

- Nigel!
- Oh, mate,

you sure you need another one?

Oh, come on, Nige,

I think I made it with 40 cents
left in the kitty.

You'll end up
going home on a stretcher...

Do you have any idea, Nigel,

of the mental fortitude it takes

to be this town's
most eligible bachelor

without a bloody job?

So, yeah, hit me with that rum.

Why don't you just get yourself
a different job?

Doing what, mate?



I've been in that mill
since I was 15,

and I finally make it
to management and bam!

See ya later.

- Here you go.
- That's on the house...

No, no, no, mate, no, no!

- Yeah.
- I'm flush, Nige!

I'm renting
the old worker's cottage

out to some English bird
from the city.

I tell ya,
if she looks half as good

as she sounds on the phone.

Plus, I'm gonna...

I'm gonna harvest the fields
behind the cottage.

- You're not serious.
- Yeah, deadly.

Can't afford to just
leave 'em there anymore.

Mate, I don't have a choice.

Don't look at me
like that, Nige.

You win some, you lose some.

Thanks for it.


You are shitting me, come on.

Oh, fuck.

Come here. Come here, come here.

Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck!

Is there a torch?


Oh, fuck.


Who's there?

We are really right
to feel these things.

We are highly intuitive beings,

and we can feel subtle changes
against the natural flow.

So when feelings of despair
and dread come up...

The pain behind the fear,

the unknown that cannot be seen

will create fear.

Step out from the darkness

and shine a light
to awaken your love.

We're not wrong to feel loss,

and pain of the heart.

We must search and seek
holding on to love.

Pause for a moment.

- Hello?
- Hi.

I'm Hanna Montague.

I'm renting the, um...

I spoke to Mr. Lipton
about renting

the worker's cottage.

Cottage isn't up for rent.

There was an ad, I called.

I spoke to Mr. Lipton,
I've just tried to call him,

but I can't seem
to get a hold of him.

John! What's Lipton
gone and done now?

How would I bloody know?

Yeah, I'm renting
the worker's cottage

from Mr. Lipton.

I can't seem
to get a hold of him.

Let me handle this.

Don't worry about her.

Come on, I'll show you in.

Thank you.

Jimmy didn't tell us
he put the cottage up for rent.

We sold it to him
a couple years back

along with the fields.

Still run the cane, though.

Jimmy couldn't grow a weed
in a rainforest.

I hope your wife's okay
with me being here.

Oh, she'll get over it.

We're just not getting
many visitors around here.


This'll be good for her.

I passed the police
on my way in.

There seemed to be
some sort of an accident.

- Accident?
- Yeah, just up the road.

So, what is it
you're doing here, Miss...?

Hanna, please, call me Hanna.

I'm John Drake, wife's Elenor.

Nice to meet you, John.

So you were...

Just a change of scenery,

clear my head, not much.

Well, you came to
the right place for "not much."

- Do you need a hand?
- No, I'm good.

All right, well,
if you need anything,

- don't hesitate.
- Thanks, John.


Oh, I'll need that.

Thank you.

Oh, and don't worry about Ellie.

She'll warm up to you.

It's just that
you left in a hurry.

We're just all concerned

and hope that you're doing
the right thing.

I know, Jules.

Are you... are you keeping up
with your diary?

Haven't missed a beat.

How could I with you on my ass?

I'm not just your sponsor,

I'm your friend as well.

I want it to work out for you.

I know, Jules, I get it, I do.

I really hope you find
what you're looking for, Hanna.

I just want to give him
a proper burial.

I can't rest until that happens.

Sorry, John.

It's Jimmy.

What happened?

I found him facedown
in the drainage ditch.

He drowned.


Fell over while
he was taking a piss.

You're fucking kidding me.

Sort that car out.

Mate had been talking
to contractors.

He'd been organizing
to have your field harvested.

He must've been dying
for that piss

to hit the brakes
that fucking hard.

He accidentally fell
in the ditch

while he was taking a piss,
and he drowned.

That's what's going
in my report,

that's where we leave it,
do you understand, John?

- John?
- Yeah.

Yeah. I see you've got
a visitor at your place.

Yeah, some English woman's
renting a cottage.

Yeah, well, you know who she is.


I'm not the fucking landlord.

But all of this,

this here,

it has to stop.

What about your missus?

Is she ready to stop?

See, that's
what I fucking thought.

Find yourself
as you search for the light.

Bring this into your soul

and seek the peace,

the more I shall
release my grip.

Know that me being here

is my way of
holding your memory...

holding on to love,

the less I will need
to hold you so tight.

Do not fear me,
for I am here always with you

and close to your chest.

I am a strong and true
and loyal friend

to hold you in your life.

Life is in your hands.

Face me with courage.

I am here to guide you, my love.

It does not have to be so dark.

Search with me
and within yourself

for the light
which will bring you back

without fear.

My message for you, dear one,
is of coming to peace

and healing to become whole.



In here, John.


So that's why you're here.

Another journo
come to pick at the scabs.

It's not what you think.

I'm not a journalist.

Then what are you?

A mother.

His name was Joey.

I don't know what you're
expecting to find here,

but this town isn't one
for opening up old wounds.

The wound never healed, John.

My son's body was never found.

His case was left unsolved.

There was a lot of talk
about what went wrong here.

There was a lot of blame.

You think you can move on
from something like that, but...

I'm sorry for your loss.

I feel for you.

But some things are just...

It was Jimmy Lipton.

What was?

The accident that you passed.

Oh, God.

That was him?


You're welcome to stay.

At least till you get
sorted out.

Driven the fire right up
the back of my daughter's place.

- What, Jonno?
- Yeah.

You're fucking joking.

What are you having, love?

Just a soda water and lime,

On the hard stuff, are ya?

You must be that city girl, eh?


There we go.

Here you go.



James Lipton.

"Teabag" to his mates.

Bloke who owned
the cottage you're in.

Got a couple of divorces
under his belt,

drank like a fucking fish.

He did always want
to go out pissed.

But I'd have
much rather seen him

sitting there at that chair.

So how is it?

It's basic,
but I don't need much.

Keep doing your meditations,

Yeah, no, I will,
I will, I will.

Hold on a sec, darling.

- Hi, John.
- Ellie and I were wondering

if you want to come over
for food tonight.

You're not forcing this
on her, are you?

It was her idea.

Okay, yeah,
that'd be lovely, thanks!

6:30, hmm?

Us oldies like to eat early.

Oh, no, thanks.

What, you don't drink?

Oh, I drink.

Ah, no worries.

Oh, please, you go ahead!

Well, not exactly a connoisseur,

but I do love a good vino.

Not fancy like you'd be used to
in the city,

but just simple stuff.

Smells delicious, thank you.

Can't remember the last time
I had a home-cooked meal.

Thank you, very kind.

Not married, Hanna?


No, it's okay.

I was.

Phil and I separated
about a year ago.

Wow. Sorry to hear that.

- Thank you.
- It's okay.

How old is your little girl?

I saw the bike.

I'm sorry, I just assumed
that the girl in the photograph

was your daughter.

Yes, she is.

Her name's Violet.

We couldn't have kids
of our own,

so we ended up adopting.

Didn't matter, though.

She was ours from the moment
we laid eyes on her.

Gift from God.

She passed.

I'm sorry.

I just saw the bike.

Why do you always have to talk
like she's gone?

Because she is Elenor.

Excuse me, please.

Yeah, she was
our little darling.

Beautiful in every way.

Do you mind if I ask
how it happened?

Not long after...

everything that happened
with your boy,

the bus bringing the kids
home from camp

ran off the road
and into the river.

Our Violet was
one of the girls that drowned.

I am so sorry.

I remember that happening.

Happened right over there,

at the side of the river.

The only person who walked away
was the driver.

Brake failure, they called it.

I think we might
give her a minute, hmm?

Do you like music?


What are the red lights
on the other side of the river?

It's a memorial.

For the children?


Every family
on this side of the river

lost a kid that day.

The other side
turn on red lights

to show us
they'll never be forgotten.

That's lovely.

I'm trying to move on.

But for Ellie,

it's like it happened
only yesterday.

You're the last person
I expected to see

back here in Billins.

You and me both.

So many grieving mothers.

And the press in your face
all the time asking questions.

No chance to grieve.

Why did you stop
looking for my son?

I tore up every inch
of this property.

I even ripped the heart
out of that bamboo forest,

most of
the surrounding property.

Four families got
to bury their children.

Guess they're the lucky ones.


You dropped the search.

Too bloody hard to keep looking.

Now, hang on.

When Simpkin nicked himself
the state government,

they stopped all money,
all manpower

into that investigation.

That was their call.

Hanna, you look out there.

Those cane fields go as far
as the eye can see.

Right, now to get through that
at that time,

we would've had
to have burned it

before the harvest was ready.

That's people's livelihoods.

Joey is still out there.

I wish I could help you,
Hanna, I do,

but without new evidence,
I can't.

Hanna, you can't keep poking
around here by yourself.

Not everyone is friendly
in Billins.

It could get serious.

Life is in your hands.

Find your courage
and know that you are here

to serve the greater good.

"Here, my love,"
they said to her,

"it does not have to be so dark.

This will strengthen you
as you breathe in.

My message for you, dear one,

is of coming toward peace
and wholeness.

Rise above
and search around you,

radiate out from the light
across the fields

where it was once dark
and closed inside.

Explore and accept the wonder
and peace of these places.

It is your best way
to find peace

and to see the emotions,

sensations of panic or fear."


Come on, love.

Hey? Okay?

It's okay.

Everything's okay.

The currents can
sweep you away in life,

thrashing and resisting
the flow of life.

Where it hurts
and it is painful,

that is when restlessness
and dissatisfaction take hold

and shadow the lights,

taking over body,
mind, and psych.

It causes us to suffer
amnesia of the spirit.

We must remind ourselves
to turn towards goodness again.

We forget we have agency
and choice in the matter.

And most heartbreaking,

when we're caught
in our darkness,

we forget how deeply we care
for our lives,

our memories, and the now.

Hope and light will coexist.

So you must, in finding
the light from the darkness,

be willing to take yourself
into the light

and out of the shadows
of memories.

The more you work at finding,
spreading, and teaching love,

the less I will need
to hold you so tight.

Don't be afraid to feel

in your heart.

I am but a fierce
and loyal reminder...


No! Wait!


Bit early for you,
isn't it, Hanna?

Where did they go?


The two boys
who came round here,

where did they go?

- Boys?
- Yeah.

Better come with me.

Well, did you see
where they went?

Come on.

John told me about your son.

Elenor, did you see
where they went?

But you need not worry, Hanna.

Because he's an angel now.

They are all angels.

And they don't ever leave us.

The cane's got a way
of making you feel small

and alone.

All that twisted nature
sprung from the earth,

suffocating the light.

Violet used to be
really scared of it.

But she isn't anymore.

You should have a lay down, hey?

Get some rest.

You'll feel much better later.

Who were the boys, Elenor?

Oh, God!



Hanna. It's okay.

- Just calm down.
- I saw... I saw...

Now stay here.

Here, hold on to this.

Listen, Hanna,

I think it's best
if you head back to the city.

Coming here
might have been a mistake.

Who is he?

What aren't you telling me?

What you saw is in your head,

and that's the truth of it.

If it was nothing,
why would a stupid red light

be any help?

Why would all those houses
over there

hang red lanterns for nothing?

You've got red headlights
on your bloody truck, John!

Hanna, you're not to say
a word of this to Elenor.

I do not want her riled up,
do you understand me?

And you should seriously
consider going home.

I'm not going anywhere, John.


I'm... I'm so sorry.

I'm so, so, so sorry.


Hey, you've got through
to Julian.

Sorry I can't take your call
right now...

Not a person.

Here you are.

Soda and lime.


The farmer that just left.

Oh, One-Nut Riley?

Did he ever run cane
on the east side of the river?

What's it to you?

Did he ever work for him?

You gotta be fuckin' kiddin',
haven't you?

No. I'm not.

Did he ever work
on Riley's farm?

No, everybody knows Simpkin
worked on the Drakes' land.

- The Drakes?
- That's until they found out

who he was.

Wait, where you going?

You... you haven't touched
your drink!


Simpkin worked for you.

You forgot to mention that.

You're wasting your time.

Police have gone down this road.

No offense,
but they did a shit job.

Simpkin worked for
a lot of people around here.

Like who?

Jimmy Lipton, for one.

Tom Evans.

Tom Evans?


The bus driver.

You knew Leonard Simpkin.

What about him?

I need to find
where he hid my son.


Nice way to put it.

Please, Tom.

Anything you can tell me,

anything he might have said
to you.

Brake failure?

Is that what really happened?

What the hell does it matter?
It happened.


There's not a day
that's gone past

where I haven't
counted the seconds

where maybe I could have
gone back and helped with

her suitcase.

Clay's boy Max.

Came out on the road
right in front of me.

I had to lock the wheel
to miss him, and...

and the bus was sideways.

Upside down.


The bus sank so fast
that those poor kids had

absolutely no idea
what was going on

before they drowned.

How did you get out?

Got lucky.

Door was smashed.


I thought we could have
a cup of tea.

You believe you're gonna
find him, don't you?

You know,

when they brought me
into that hospital

to identify Violet,

I didn't know
who I was looking at.

She was so cold, so blue!

I knew it wasn't really her.

The body is just a vessel
for the spirit.

I mean, it can't be just this,

there's gotta be more than...

You believe that, don't you?

I admire people with faith,
I do.

I've just never had it.

If that were true,

you wouldn't be here, though.

Would you?

I talk to Violet all the time.

She shows me things.

Is that what you were doing,

out in the fields at night,

seeing Violet?

We were supposed to harvest
that very field

the day after the accident.

But now, we never will.

You saw them, didn't you,
out in the field?

Oh, Elenor...

I don't know what I saw.

You don't have to find Joey,

He's gonna find you.

Whaddya got?

That'll get you
a shitload of Oxys.

Chuck some valiums in there
as well, if you want.

- No.
- No?

Or you want some pot?


Well, horse is pretty popular
around here.

Yeah, I bet.

Well, I'll take that
and I'll meet you

around the corner here.

No, just joking, here you go.

- Have a good night, then.
- Yeah, funny.

Nice to see you again.

Shut up.

Shut up!

Oh my God!

This them?

They could be
any kid's shoes, Hanna.

I know his shoes.

They're Joey's.

He was wearing them that day.

Hanna, word's gotten around,

if you didn't know already.

Someone's trying to prank you.

- Hmph.
- They're trying

to scare you off.

You need to drop this here,
go home.

Look at yourself.

No good for your health.

How could anyone possibly know

what shoes he was wearing
that day?

I'm not leaving, constable.

Not without my son.

I'll send them to the city
for testing.

But if nothing comes back,

you have to put an end to this.

Don't touch them!

Shouldn't you use gloves
or something?

God, you idiot!

Now, you listen to me.

You wanna run around here
stirring up shit,

then I will not think twice
about driving you out of town.

Do you understand me?

This property wasn't searched.

Not like the others.

- This field...
- Okay, stop!

This place will drive you
fucking mad.

Trust me.

You've gotta let it go.

If it was your son...

would you let it go?

Oh! My Tommy, my baby!


Mommy's here to see you.

- He's out there!
- Who?

- The boy!
- What boy?

- Max!
- Hanna!

I saw Max.

You're losin' it.

I'm not fucking losing it!

I know what I saw!

They're all in there

with the children.

I saw Violet, John.

I saw her with my own eyes.

You need to come with me
and get help.

Get off!

I'm quite capable
of walking by myself.

You're the one with the limp.

My wife isn't well, Hanna.

And having you
out in the fields,

it's making her anxious.

Someone put my son's shoes

out on the back porch.

They're letting me know
he's here.

Tomorrow, I want you
to pack your bags...

and I want you gone.

How you holding up?

Sticking to the plan, I hope,

staying out of the pubs.

A hundred percent.


Anything to report?

Everyone in this town is a liar.



No... no, no, please wait.

Please wait.

I need to ask you about Max.


I lost my boy too.

Tell me about your son.

Why did the paper say
that Max was on that bus?

He wasn't.

Wilkins said
he tried to flag it down

to get a lift home,

but Tommy Evans knew Max.

He would've stopped for him.


So, Simpkin was working
the Drake farm that season.

Have you been out
to the fields...

I mean, since the accident.

I know what goes on out there
with that lot.

I saw Max

in the fields.

What you've seen is not my son.



- Max wants you to leave.
- Jesus Christ!

Or he'll hurt you.


What do you want?

I'll help you find
what you're looking for.


Do you know where he is, Violet?

I can't go where he is.

But I want to.

He said you should
remember his shoes.

Please, Violet.

Show me where he is.

I have to go now.

No, wait!



I-I want to help you.

Tell... tell me what you want.

How you doing?

How'd that stuff I got you
go the other day?

What do you want, Troy?

I was actually gonna ask, um...

if you wanted
to come get high with me.

Why not?

Come on, then.

I thought better, that.

I always thought
I'd get out of Billins,

you know what I mean?

Why didn't you?

Oh, things took a turn,
didn't they? Yeah.

What kind of a turn?

Lost my little sister.


Shit. Sorry.

She meant everything to me.


Bus crash, just there out front.

I still see her, though.

I'm not gonna let her go,
you know what I mean?

She's still here with me,
she's here, she's here,

she's here.

Won't leave her behind,
do you know what I mean?

We've got something
pretty special

going on here.

And you...

are messing with it.

Do you get me?

- Okay, Troy.
- Huh?


I think you should leave.

You think I should leave!

You want me to leave?

- No, I'm not gonna...
- Just leave.

No, you fucking leave,
you fucking leave, right?

We'll go back
to your fucking room now

and we'll pack
the fucking bag, right?


You fucking joke.

Is go and pack
your fucking shit

and fuck off, you dog.

Do you understand
where I'm coming from?

Hey? Do you understand
where I'm coming from?

Let her go, now.


If I ever see you
back here again,

I will fucking kill you.

Go on, get!

Fucking dog.


- What's going on?
- Everything's okay.

Just go back to the house.

You okay?

Your son...

killed my son.

Yes, he did.

He was broken.

But he was mine.

He was my boy.

And I don't know
what to say to you,

other than I'm sorry.

So sorry.

Did Elenor know he was yours?


It was my sin,

my guilt to carry.

On the day of the accident...

that's when I found out
who Lenny really was.



John! Please!

I couldn't keep up.

I... I tried, but my leg.


I yelled out,
I kept yelling, I...

I tried to stop him.


But I just couldn't get to him.

You have to burn the field,

My son's in that field.

You don't know that.

Violet showed me.

Ellie won't let the field go.

It's all she's got.

I can't take that away from her.

Violet wants to leave.

- Oh, you're just saying that.
- No.

John, look at me.

Look at me.

It's what she wants.

She told me.

Let her go.

If I burn the field,

they can't see their kids

It's time to let her go.

Not tonight.

I'm fine.

We both need our sleep, love.

I am fine.

How long is this gonna
go on for?

Oh God.




Come on, John!


Come on, come on!


- Elenor!
- John!

Call an ambulance!

John, John!


What's happened?

John! John! John!

What are you doing?




I haven't said goodbye.

I haven't said goodbye!

If I can take her...

- No.
- Violet! Oh, Violet!

No, no... I'm sorry.

I tried to say goodbye!


Bury it with Nan, right?


I didn't know
if you'd want to see me.

Thanks for letting me stay on.

No worries.

You gonna be okay?

I am so sor... I am so sorry.

I am so sorry.