The Nightingale

Dir: Jennifer Kent



136 mins



Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr, Damon Herriman

Jennifer Kent’s follow-up to her smash hit The Babadook is an urgent period thriller. Written, co-produced and directed by Kent, The Nightingale premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Prize, also taking home the Critics’ Prize at Melbourne Film Festival.

Set at the turn of the 19th century, it follows Clare (Aisling Franciosi), an Irishwoman in Australia, where she is an indentured convict held by British lieutenant Hawkins (Sam Claflin). Overdue her release, his abuse of power eventually culminates in a horrifically violent attack. Hiring a Letteremairrener guide, Billy (Baykali Ganambarr), whose family were murdered by British colonists – and who, despite Australia being his native land, retains even less power within it than Clare – they stalk Hawkins, with Clare desperate to wreak her revenge.

A harrowing and uncompromising look at the horrific reality of early British rule in Australia, Kent uses narrative and superb cinematic craft to explore the terrible savagery with which British colonisers took Australian land from its native Aboriginal people and violently exploited prisoners.

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Vertigo Releasing

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