Viewers walked out of the gruesome historic film ‘The Nightingale’ at Sydney Film Festival after they were horrified by graphic rape scenes and violence towards babies and children. The majority of the sold-out audience at The Ritz in Randwick felt it went too far and left.
Aussie film The Nightingale, directed by Jennifer Kent, was screened as part of the Sydney Film Festival to a sold-out audience of more than 1,000 people at the Ritz cinema in the city’s east. Some audience members were so distressed by the on-screen violence, that they yelled out in protest and walked out.
However, Kent has now issued a powerful statement in response to the criticism — saying her film is not about violence.
She said the unflinching rape-revenge story, set in 1825, contains “historically accurate depictions of colonial violence and racism towards our indigenous people” — but it’s real message is one of optimism.
“It’s about the need for love, compassion and kindness in dark times,” she said.
“Both Aisling Franciosi (the film’s leading actor) and myself have been personally contacted by more than a few victims of sexual violence after screenings who are grateful for the film’s honesty and who have drawn comfort from its themes.”
Nightingale, set in 1825, follows Irish convict Clare – played by Aisling Franciosi
The 21-year-old looks for revenge after violence is committed against her family. She gets graphically gang raped during the opening 20 minutes of the movie. Further scenes showed extreme violence inflicted on babies and young children