Joe Cinque’s Consolation
In early 1997 Anu Singh, a beautiful law student at the Australian National University, confides in friends that she plans to kill herself to put an end to a mysterious illness. With doctors unable or unwilling to help, Anu’s engineer boyfriend, Joe Cinque, attempts to get to the bottom of her condition. But Anu’s mental and emotional state disintegrate, and her plans grow more macabre and more public. As Joe begins to understand the true nature of their relationship, Anu blames him for her illness and vows revenge against him. After an elaborate farewell dinner party attended by friends, Anu drugs Joe with Rohypnol. Now under Anu’s control, Joe’s fate depends on their friends and colleagues intervening to save his life. Instead they gradually withdraw, unwilling to help or immobilised by doubt or disbelief. More than a day later, on the 26th of October 1997, Anu injects Joe with a lethal dose of heroin. Joe Cinque’s Consolation is the adaptation of Helen Garner’s best-selling account of these events: an examination of collective and individual responsibility, and a crime that shocked Australia.