In 2016, Wellington-based film company, Sea Star Creations, completed short film Goblin Market, a contemporary retelling of the narrative poem by 19th century poet Christina Rossetti.
Director/producer Katherine Wyeth writes:
Christina Rossetti’s 19th century masterpiece, Goblin Market, is a dark, allegorical fairy tale about two sisters, Laura and Lizzie, which explores the universal themes of eroticism and desire, addiction and betrayal, sisterhood, sacrifice and, ultimately, liberation.
Our film re-imagines the poem in a contemporary setting, with a modern day seduction in a drug-infused underground club. When this ends in betrayal, Laura dwindles in a pall of withdrawal and despair. Desperate to comfort her sister, Lizzie sets out to procure the drug she craves, but instead finds herself on a wild headland overlooking a boundless sea.
Here the goblins await her.
Lizzie is drawn into their bacchanal, discovering and fully embodying her own sensual power. Triumphant, she returns having won the fiery antidote to Laura’s poison, and then watches as she fits and writhes, not knowing whether it has saved or killed her. But the next morning, entangled, both women wake as from a dream – to begin anew.
Crossing the world to its antipodal point, our film draws both from its roots and from the spirits of this land on which we stand, to bring to life Rossetti’s mythic, feminist anthem. One which speaks to the power of women, united – with each other and with our own essential nature, our wildness and eros – to uplift ourselves, and one another.