8:00 PM, 12th October, 2004
This film has taken a while to get on the ANUFG program. It was released back in 2002, and was filmed in 1999 - the delay in release being due to artistic conflict between the director and his Dutch and Belgian producers. However, it is well worth the wait.
The basic plot: Father Damian volunteers to work with lepers on the Hawaiian island of Molokai in the 1870s. That's pretty much it, but this is not a film about plot, but instead a beautiful, and sometimes sad, series of relationships and experiences encountered as we journey through Father Damien's life.
Paul Cox is a highly respected Australian film-maker - older members may recall classics like Man of Flowers and Lonely Hearts, while in recent times he has made Innocence. This is one of Cox's best, and until I saw Gettin' Square, I regarded this as David Wenham's finest moment in film as well. The support cast is impressive, including legends of the screen like Derek Jacobi and Peter O'Toole.
In my humble opinion, this is one of the best films on the Semester 2 program. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.