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A reworking of the 1892 Henry Lawson short story, The Drover’s Wife is a subversive directorial and writing debut by Leah Purcell, who stars as the legendary Molly Johnson. On an isolated farm in the alpine country of the Snowy Mountains, the heavily pregnant Molly and her young children are struggling to survive in the absence of her drover husband. When an Indigenous fugitive, Yadaka (Rob Collins) arrives on her property, Molly initially meets him with hostility. Gradually, Yadaka proves helpful in challenging situations, and seems to provide a link to Molly’s past, uncovering brutal truths and secrets which must be confronted.
Purcell’s vibrant cinematic adaptation follows a novel and award-winning play, bringing a radical and striking contemporary vision to the story. In this third, cinematic incarnation, Purcell’s supreme acting takes centre stage alongside complex, invigorating supporting characters. The Drover’s Wife reimagines a classic Australian story from an Indigenous Feminist perspective, depicting the struggles of a wife battling the harsh frontier of the Australian bushland.
Thursday 5th May
Rob Collins, Sam Reid, Jessica De Gouw, Leah Purcell, Malachi Dower-Roberts
Palace Balwyn Cinema, Pentridge Cinema