It is 30th November, 1962. The setting, night on idyllic Hayman Island in the Great Barrier Reef. The music of Buddy Holly has faded when David turns to Irina: ‘What do you mean I ignored you?’
Here is challenge – and attraction. They dig deeper to find words. ‘Art is going to be my life now,’ she tells him. ‘My parents are nice people, but they don’t understand art …I’m a rebel …I’m going to start my career as a painter here, on Hayman Island.’
Then, as they look across the darkened garden, he begins to tell her about his past in France because, ‘I was running away from my mother’. Soon it’s clear that they share interests in art, that they are both facing big challenges and are determined to live life on their own terms.
David takes Irina to meet his mother to reveal their wedding plans. His mother’s response? ‘You little fools!’ She turns on Irina: ‘David has absolutely no money and no prospects’. And Irina is shocked – she’s never experienced brutality.
It will not be easy for either of them. But in this climate of rebellion, their love ignites. Irina’s life becomes a choice: my art or David. Or can they co-exist?