the nightingale trailer

Jennifer Kent, director of the acclaimed horror film The Babadook, returns with a very different type of scary movie. The Nightingale is a shockingly brutal tale of revenge set in Australia in the 1800s. Aisling Franciosi plays a young Irish convict on a journey to track down and kill a soldier who did something terrible to her and her family. The results are unpleasant, to say the least. Watch The Nightingale trailer below.

The Nightingale Trailer

I have a fairly strong stomach when it comes to violence in movies, but even I was shocked when I saw The Nightingale at the Sundance Film Festival this year. It’s not even that the film’s violence is particularly graphic, per say. It’s more in the raw ferocity that director Jennifer Kent films it. Let’s just say this isn’t the feel good film of the year. As I wrote in my review:

How does one even begin to approach a film like this? It’s not that this type of subject matter hasn’t been tackled on screen before. In many ways, The Nightingale feels like a combination of the rape-and-revenge exploitation horror film I Spit on Your Grave crossed with Jim Jarmusch’s anti-Western Dead Man, with a little of The Revenant thrown in for good measure. But Kent’s attention to the brutality and violence is so precise, and so sickening, that it begins to wear you down.

And yet, The Nightingale is worth seeing – if you can stomach it. It’s a masterfully directed and acted film, and if you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded in the end. Here’s the somewhat lengthy synopsis:

Set during the colonization of Australia in 1825, the film follows Clare (AISLING FRANCIOSI), a 21-year-old Irish convict. Having served her 7-year sentence, she is desperate to be free of her abusive master, Lieutenant Hawkins (SAM CLAFLIN) who refuses to release her from his charge. Clare’s husband Aidan (MICHAEL SHEASBY) retaliates and she becomes the victim of a harrowing crime at the hands of the lieutenant and his cronies. When British authorities fail to deliver justice, Clare decides to pursue Hawkins, who leaves his post suddenly to secure a captaincy up north. Unable to find compatriots for her journey, she is forced to enlist the help of a young Aboriginal tracker Billy (BAYKALI GANAMBARR) who grudgingly takes her through the rugged wilderness to track down Hawkins. The terrain and the prevailing hostilities are frightening, as fighting between the original inhabitants of the land and its colonisers plays out in what is now known as ‘The Black War.’ Clare and Billy are hostile towards each other from the outset, both suffering their own traumas and mutual distrust, but as their journey leads them deeper into the wilderness, they must learn to find empathy for one another, while weighing the true cost of revenge.

The Nightingale opens August 2. Check out the stunning poster below.

 

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