Jennifer Kent made an incredible feature debut with 2014’s The Babadook, an assured and absolutely chilling horror movie rooted in dark psychological drama and everyone’s primal fear of childhood monsters. For her sophomore feature, the director turns to human monsters with her brutal revenge tale The Nightingale. Set in 1800s Australia, the film follows Aisling Franciosi as a young woman dead set on retribution after a soldier commits horrifying acts of violence against her family. Perri caught The Nightingale at Sundance and called it “a film that both shines and horrifies due to Kent’s attention to detail and respect for the material, and the extent she goes to to make sure the viewer isn’t just along for the ride but can truly feel the heartbreak.”
The Nightingale‘s been making the festival rounds and scooped up the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, and with the theatrical release date finally on the horizon, IFC Films has debuted the first trailer. The film also stars Baykali Ganambarr, Damon Herriman, and Ewan Leslie, and arrives in Los Angeles and New York theaters on August 2, 2019, with a nation-wide expansion to follow. Watch the first trailer below.
For more on The Nightingale, check out the links and official synopsis below:
- 10 Female-Directed Films to Keep On Your Radar in 2019
- Aisling Franciosi on the Violence of ‘The Nightingale’ and Looking Back on ‘Game of Thrones’
- Jennifer Kent on Not Wanting to Make ‘The Nightingale’ But Feeling Like She Had To
THE NIGHTINGALE is a meditation on the consequences of violence and the price of seeking vengeance. 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 colonizers 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.