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INTERVIEW: Veteran director Paul Cox joins Jim Schembri


BLESSED MAN: Director Paul Cox talks about a film he shouldn’t have been here to make.

It’s heartening to hear that director Paul Cox is already working on his next film. At 75, Cox is grateful to still be alive, ever thankful to the liver donor who has given him a precious bonus round.

His film Force of Destiny, starring David Wenham, is  based on his experience of being diagnosed and then being put on a waiting list. As well as being a romantic drama, Cox dearly wants the film to get the message out for people to donate their organs. In its small way, he wants Force of Destiny to address the embarrassing fact that Australia has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the world.

Since his cross-cultural romance Kostas (1979), Cox has established himself as one of Australia’s leading independent filmmakers.

Working on low budgets and with recurring coterie of actors, he is responsible for a distinctively humanist roster of feature films including: Lonely Hearts (1982); Man of Flowers (1983); My First Wife (1984); Cactus (1986); A Woman’s Tale (1991); Lust and Revenge (1996); Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999); Innocence (2000); Human Touch (2004); and Salvation (2008).

Cox was in good cheer during our conversation, his sense of humour undaunted by his fragile condition. This version of the interview was distilled from a much longer chat, the full version of which will be up soon. It will include many digressions, reminiscences, thoughts and reflections about film and life, so please watch out for it.

In the meantime, please enjoy.

TRAILER: Force of Destiny