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The Drover's Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson (15) (AD)

Senior Community Screening

A still from The Drover's Wife

Leah Purcell adapts her own play of the 19th century short story to create a fierce, feminist Australian revenge western.

Actor Leah Purcell gives a tremendous performance as Molly Johnson, a pregnant woman left to fend for herself in her ranch in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. An escaped Indigenous Australian convict (Rob Collins) turns up on her door, triggering a thrilling tale that explores racism and misogyny under colonial rule.

The film has been a labour of love for Purcell, who has also adapted Henry Lawson’s short story into a play and a novel, reclaiming the white-centric narrative of the original from an Indigenous Australian female perspective. Purcell’s fiery screenplay ensures the prejudices of the late 19th century are infused with contemporary resonance – Collins’ character muses that he is guilty of ‘existing while black’. It’s an ambitious, visionary adaptation, and a powerful directorial debut.

Australia 2021 Dir Leah Purcell 109 min

There is audio description available for this title. We provide audio description using the Dolby Screentalk system. The film soundtrack comes through the speakers in the usual way and a recorded narrator explains what is happening on screen through personal headphones. Please ask a member of staff for a set of headphones.

Please Note: This screening features an exclusive Reclaim The Frame pre-recorded introduction with filmmaker Leah Purcell.

Reclaim the Frame brings a wider perspective of the world by championing cinema by women & non-binary filmmakers. Run by Birds’ Eye View, a charity with a mission to advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion in film by fostering a community for those who make, show, release and watch them.

To learn more and join the #ReclaimTheFrame mission and receive free cinema tickets and discount codes go to Supported by BFI’s Audience Fund. 

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