Americans will recognize the cinematic terrain, the dust on the plains, the scrub on the hills, the view down a rifle barrel, all punctuated with twangy bursts on the soundtrack—for this is a western, complete with the pounding gallop of horses against widescreen landscapes and a new sheriff in town. Acclaimed Aboriginal-Australian writer, director, and actor Leah Purcell adapts Henry Lawson’s 1892 short story for the third time after a play and a novel, seeking to fold neglected truths into her country’s Outback myths. Purcell stars as Molly Johnson, left to fend for herself and her children in rural isolation while her husband works far away, who becomes caught up in the hunt for an escaped Aboriginal prisoner. Purcell works plot twists driven by a deep understanding that, for a woman, even the the familiar can be threatening, in an enthralling drama that lays bare colonial Australia’s sorry history of racial and domestic violence. –Shari Kizirian
Leah Purcell is one of Australia’s leading actors, writers, and directors, with award-winning roles across all mediums. Her previous adaptations of The Drover’s Wife include a multi-award-winning theatrical play and a novel currently available through Penguin Random House.
Bain Stewart, David Jowsey, Angela Littlejohn, Greer Simpkin