The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Film Club Members-Only Screening: The Nightingale


Weeks ahead of its August 2nd North American premiere, and thanks to the wonderful partnership of IFC Films, this month’s Frida Cinema Film Club Members Only screening is the latest from The Babadook writer/director Jennifer Kent — The Nightingale.

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. After her husband Aidan (Michael Sheasby) stages a retaliation, Clare becomes the victim of a harrowing crime at the hands of the lieutenant and his cronies, leading her to enlist the help of a young Aboriginal tracker Billy (Baykali Ganambarr) to lead her through the rugged wilderness to track down Hawkins and exact her revenge.

A meditation on the consequences of violence and the price of seeking vengeance, The Nightingale unfurls against an appropriately dark and hostile terrain, all the more complicated by both Clare and Billy’s respective roles in ‘The Black War’ – the continued fight between the original inhabitants of the land and its colonizers. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, this second feature from writer/director Jennifer Kent seals the promise suggested by 2014’s equally dark and allegorical The Babadook of a formidable new voice in international genre cinema.

“It’s a breathtaking success by a director who could have made anything after the success of her first horror feature, and who decided to make a bloody but contemplative period piece with no easy answers.” – Meredith Borders, Bloody Disgusting

“Kent’s elemental revenge tale attains a near-mythic grandeur over the course of its arduous, ravishing trek.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

“If you’re disgusted, horrified or upset by anything in The Nightingale, then Kent has done her job. Using a traditional revenge movie template as her jumping off point, she reminds us that we can have no catharsis for the horrors of the past.” – Alistair Ryder, Film Inquiry

Remember to hit SUBMIT when finished!