Mr. Watts is the last Englishman remaining in a tropical village in Bougainville during its civil war in the 1990s. He begins to teach the local children by reading them "Great Expectations," by Charles Dickens, while Matilda is an imaginative young girl, who is transported into the story of the novel, believing that Dickens' character Pip is her friend. Matilda's "Pip" world is an extraordinary fusion of Dickens' Victorian London with the environment and people she knows on the island. This wildly imaginative hybrid place - visually stimulating and utterly compelling - is set alongside the film's unflinching portrayal of the horrors of war. Matilda's passion for storytelling brings terror to the village when Pip's identity is misunderstood by the invading army. Ultimately, her courage and imagination must sustain her if she is to survive.