This is a psychologically violent film. In 1822 8 convicts escape into the Tasmanian wilderness. Only one will survive.
From the first frame I treated the men as ghosts they were already dead. The landscape remained unchallenged long after those souls lost hope. The joy of this film was creating the tension with solid performances while slowing of the energy of the edit as the number of men dwindled.
While the crew endured a Victorian winter in the Ottways and extreme flurry of snow in Tasmania I had the delight of receiving the red rushes in Melbourne. The landscape is glorious and very much the ninth character of this film. Silent, dense, forever changing and unyielding. I just couldn’t believe my eyes when Pierce finds himself alone in a gnarled grey forest.
The intelligent script, performances, cinematography, sound, music and the locations makes this film a cinematic experience. It is not for everyone. I often get told how violent this film is. There is some physical violence shown but it’s the sustained tension that is violent. But if you want to discover some emerging Australian talent in cast and crew take a look. I dare you.
Best International Feature at Lund Film Festival – Sweden
Jury Special Mention Prize at Sitges Film Festival – Spain
At The Movies review: http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s2671830.htm