"On her trip to India, the young Australian Ruth (Kate Winslet) succumbs to the fascination of the foreign world. With a guru, she finds the peace and serenity that she has always missed in her life. However, her family lures her back home with a trick and wants to tear her out of her dream by all means. The American cult psychologist P.J. Waters promises to 'cure' Ruth in three days: But just two days later, the situation has changed: P.J. falls completely for Ruth's erotic charisma."
"Jane Campion's theme is once again the trial of strength between the sexes, which inHoly Smokedank the use of sex as a means of manipulation clearly works out in favor of the self-confident woman. When the 'cult exiter' crawls through the desert at the end, when the spiritual search for meaning tips over into a desperate search for oneself, the director succeeds in a cinematic tightrope walk that narrowly but confidently skirts the precipice to ridiculousness. A radical, but also witty-subtle psychodrama that convinces with both satirical moments and images of great beauty."
"Winslet's powerful physical presence dominates their scenes together up to the point where P.J. is finally led to violate the ethical code of cult dropouts. 'I was trying to be comforting,' he later explains. Ruth, Campion's smart, outspoken heroine, won't fall for it."
New York Times, Dec. 03, 1999
Contributors and additional information:
115 min. color. 35 mm. E/d/f
Director: Jane Campion
Screenplay: Jane Champion, Anna Champion
Cinematography: Dion Beebe
Editing: Veronika Jenet
Music: Angeli Badalamenti
Starring: Kate Winslet, Harvey Keitel, Pam Grier, Julie Hamilton, Sophie Lee
Note: This text was translated by machine translation software and not by a human translator. It may contain translation errors.