Halloween feature 50 days, 50 slays! Day 12 NIGHTMARE HISTORY THE NIGHTINGALE

Some films have the most unfortunate of moments to arrive in. Jennifer Kent’s THE NIGHTINGALE came at a time when Brexit was the central conversation being had in Britain. A film that met head on the horrific experience of our collective colonial past in Australia, left many asking uncomfortable questions about our country and its sense of exceptionalism. Now, for me this film is deeply distressing and highly difficult to accept totally. Made as it was for the intelligential crowd, but for a film that will leave you deverstated and sleepless this Halloween, you can do no worse.



1825 in the British penal colony of Van Diemen’s Land (later Southern Australia), An Irish convict called Clare Carroll (Aisling Franciosi) is trying to get her papers to freedom from a brutal British Army officer. He however has no interest in giving her anything but sexual harassment, which ends in rape. When he also kills her husband and child, she seeks revenge on him. Employing Aboriginal tracker Billy (Baykali Ganambarr), they take the journey across the land, north, to find him and finish the job.


Right, this is not for the faint hearted or person looking for a Halloween of franchise horror, set up slaughter or even comic asides. This is a powerhouse of an unpleasant film. When I first spoke of it, I called it Jennifer Kent’s Rape Revenge, historical odyssey for the revisionist #metoo generation. Its unflinching and unfailing in its primacy. Rape is depicted with horrific naturalism. Violence is stinging and fast. The use of framing, Franciosi Falconetti facial positioning is unsettling and its conclusion leads to a reappraisal of your own expectations and motivations.


The Second Sight disc is packed with a lovely exterior box and a great piece on the film from Alexandra Heller‐Nicholas. Aisling Franciosi interview becomes a passionate defence of the films deepest moments, with the horrors onscreen, digested in a calm and mediated way. ‘Bloody White People’: A Video Essay by Alexandra Heller‐Nicholas is an excellent addition to her essay and the The Nightingale in Context is a must for anyone wanting to under stand Australian history.

Limited Edition Contents

  • Rigid slipcase featuring new artwork by Laura Racero
  • 40 page perfect‐bound booklet with new writing by Elena Lazic and Alexandra Heller‐Nicholas
  • 3  collectors’ art cards
  • She Will Not Be Silenced: an interview with Actor Aisling Franciosi
  • Sometimes Trouble Finds You: an interview with Actor Michael Sheasby
  • Just Making Light, Sir: an Interview with Actor Damon Herriman
  • I Surrender: an Interview with Actor Harry Greenwood
  • Taking Flight: an interview with Producer Kristina Ceyton
  • Assembling Vengeance: an Interview with Editor Simon Njoo (12mins)
  • Building Something Special: an Interview with Production Designer Alexander Holmes
  • Hear her Voice: an interview with Composer Jed Kurzel
  • ‘Bloody White People’: A Video Essay by Alexandra Heller‐Nicholas
  • The Nightingale in Context
  • The Making of The Nightingale
  • Theatrical Trailer



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