The Nightingale: Film director defends controversial rape scenes

Lawrence Kim
Июня 12, 2019

Sydney Film Festival director Nashen Moodley said: "Despite some audience members choosing not to remain - we had about 20 and 30 people leave each screening out of approximately 600 and 800 in attendance - the film received such strong applause, and the majority of the audience did stay to the end of the screenings for the question and answer sessions". "She's already been raped twice".

IndieWire shared the news that Kent brought the film to the Sydney Film Festival and numerous audience members walked out of the premiere because of the film's multiple brutal rape scenes in its first 30 minutes.

Filmed in Tasmania, the rape-revenge flick is set in the 18th century and follows the story of 21-year-old Irish convict Clare (played by Aisling Franciosi) who vows revenge after her family is mercilessly killed.

Several others also reportedly walked out of another screening of the film on Monday.

The Nightingale also stars Baykali Ganambarr as an indigenous tracker who guides Franciosi's character through the Tasmanian bush, as she seeks revenge against a British officer, played by Sam Claflin.

It is the second feature film directed by Jennifer Kent, who was behind 2014's The Babadook, and its producers include Bruna Papandrea, who produced Big Little Lies with her former business partner Reese Witherspoon.

In a Q&A session after last night's screening, she reportedly admitted that the film is "a hard watch". Ingrid van den Berghe, managing director of Luna Palace Cinemas, said: "We understand that the film will not be for everybody and the likely R rating the film will receive will alert movie-goers to its graphic content".

Kent herself has previously spoken out to First Showing about filming the graphic scenes, saying, "It really pushed me to my absolute limits as a human being".

In a statement to ABC, she said: "Whilst The Nightingale contains historically accurate depictions of colonial violence and racism towards our Indigenous people, the film is not "about" violence". "Even if that's anger at me or the situation". It's about the need for love, compassion and kindness in dark times. I do not believe this would be happening if the film was at all gratuitous or exploitative.

As the film unfolds, the main protagonist is raped over and over again by various attackers.

IFC Films will release film in theaters August 2.

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