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Radiance (15*) + ScreenTalk with Rachel Perkins (Live from Australia)

Part of Homeland

A still from Radiance

Sparks fly when three sisters reunite after the death of their mother in this beautifully acted directorial debut from Rachel Perkins, newly restored.

Trisha Morton-Thomas, Deborah Mailman (in their film debuts) and Rachael Maza give unforgettable performances as three sisters – one has remained at the family home, one is a fun-loving party girl and one is a successful opera singer. The women congregate at their Queensland family home after the death of their mother, a woman regarded as a witch by the locals. After the funeral, the sisters confront secrets from their shared pasts.

Despite its low budget and stage origins, director Rachel Perkins creates something truly cinematic, supported by excellent photography from Warwick Thornton, soon to launch a hugely acclaimed career of his own as a director. Although there are moments of trauma and vital discussions around displacement, heritage and belonging, there is much humour in the film, alongside liberating moments of anarchy.

Australia 1998 Dir Rachel Perkins 83 min

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences are advised that this film may contain the names, images and voices of people who have died. This film contains scenes viewers may find distressing.

Homeland: Films by Australian First Nations directors is supported by the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22.

Curated by the Barbican in partnership with Screen Australia. With thanks to Penny Smallacombe and Savannah Glynn-Braun (First Nations Department, Screen Australia).

Presented by the National Film and Sound Archive’s digital restoration program – NFSA Restores – reviving Australia’s cinema icons

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Barbican Cinema 2