Franciosi said she never realized quite how violent the penal colony was.
Photo by Kasia Ladczuk, courtesy of the Venice Film Festival
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A stirring story of revenge and friendship involving a female Irish convict and an Aboriginal tracker in colonial Tasmania was hailed the favorite to win the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion Thursday. "The Nightingale" by Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent – the only film directed by a woman out of a total 21 vying for the top prize – had critics reaching for comparisons with Jane Campion's 1993 masterpiece "The Piano". After loud cheers had greeted the demise of a British officer near the end of the film who had murdered the heroine's husband and baby, a handful of Italians in the audience clapped the death of the Aboriginal man who had helped her.Shot in English, Irish Gaelic and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Palawa Kani language, the film portrays the extreme violence and racism of the island in the 1820s when it was known as Van Diemen's Land.Kent said it was "incredibly important" that audiences be shocked by the brutality she depicts.
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