Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) returns with a searing and controversial revenge drama about a young convict woman in Van Diemen’s Land, 1825. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Venice 2018.
Australia's dark colonial past is examined in the story of Clare (Aisling Fanciosi, magnificent), an Irish-born convict who's served her sentence. But nothing can stop Clare's abuse at the hands of Hawkins (Sam Claflin), an ambitious and amoral British lieutenant. So begins an unforgettable tale of violence and retribution in which Clare forms an uneasy alliance with a young Indigenous guide named Billy (Baykali Ganambarr, Best Young Actor award, Venice). The Nightingale is frequently brutal and shocking – and necessarily so. Transcending traditional boundaries of the revenge thriller, Kent's savagely beautiful film confronts us with uncomfortable truths about the formation of the Commonwealth we call home.
Director Kent has stated The Nightingale is "a difficult watch" and her motivation was to illuminate a part of Australian history that was seldom talked about. "Whilst The Nightingale contains historically accurate depictions of colonial violence and racism towards our Indigenous people, the film is not 'about' violence," she said. "It's about the need for love, compassion and kindness in dark times.
'Kent's elemental revenge tale attains a near-mythic grandeur over the course of its arduous, ravishing trek.' - Variety
One of the most memorable works in its genre - a parable that never turns violence into a spectacle, but is resolutely committed to expose the poisonous double prism of racism and sexism it feeds upon.
The Film Stage
Jennifer Kent impressively follows up 'The Babadook' with a historical revenge tale of shattering brutality and hard-earned grace