Director Jennifer Kent celebrated her breakthrough with “The Babadook”. The director then followed up with a real revenge board with “The Nightingale.” The film celebrates its free TV premiere today. But beware: eat VERY hard!
With “The Babadook” Jennifer Kent not only unleashed a real horror hype, but also immediately became one of the most interesting genre filmmakers of our time. What is impressive about her chilling debut film is the directorial intensity with which she always firmly links the supernatural horror to the family trauma of a mother-child relationship. This is certainly not new, but it is effective, as Kent manages to consistently increase the stress level.
Her follow-up work, “The Nightingale – Cry for Revenge”, couldn’t do more justice to the early praise. In fact, at the premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Jennifer Kent was insulted by the audience in the worst possible way. Furthermore, the reviews are rather subdued. In the end, it wasn’t even enough for a theatrical release. Wrong because “The nightingale“which celebrates its Free TV premiere on 3 Sat 19th Feb at 11:15pm, is a real hit that will be remembered for a long time. The faint hearted are really pushed to their limits here.
So if you’re planning on watching The Nightingale on TV next Sunday, you don’t have to worry about any cuts either. Although the revenge movie has an FSK 18 rating, thanks to its broadcast after 11 p.m., it is completely uncut. In addition, it has no commercial breaks. Then, or instead, if you want to put the movie straight into your closet or want to see the original English version, you can move on to online retailers like Amazon, where “The Nightingale” is available on Blu-ray and DVD. The movie is also currently available for subscription on Amazon Prime Video:
“”The Nightingale”: In the media book* / On Amazon Prime Video*
That’s what ‘The Nightingale’ is about
In the early 1800s, Irish Clare (Aisling Franciosi) lived in the British penal colony of Van Diemen’s Land, now Tasmania, after being sentenced to almost no rights. She has a daughter with her husband Eddie (Charlie Shotwell) and hopes that the English lieutenant Hawkins (Sam Claflin) will soon grant her freedom. However, he demands sexual favors in return.
But after a confrontation with Eddie, Hawkins and his cronies kill Clare’s husband and their infant daughter and then rape the helpless Clare. Traumatized and obsessed with vengeance, Clare pursues the officers into the wild Australian bush and is aided by native Billy (Baykali Ganambarr), who has also experienced first-hand the conflict between the displaced locals and the white settlers…
A really uncomfortable viewing experience
After half an hour, Jennifer Kent lets the cat out of the bag and shows which direction “The Nightingale” will develop. While the tension lurks in almost every scene from the first minute, hinting at a possible escalation, after 30 minutes the time has come. Kent doesn’t just come up with a multiple rape that Clare endures. Together with the protagonist, you as a spectator also have to experience how first her husband and then her baby are brutally murdered. What remains is a feeling of emptiness, which quickly turns into an irrepressible desire for revenge.
Actually, “The Nightingale” works on the classic pattern of the rape and revenge subgenre. But Jennifer Kennt does not build on exploitation, but treats in principle the same themes that formed The Babadook: loss, grief and fear. And it is precisely these three points that not only make the people here, but also make people become monsters. Clare goes hunting with Aborigine Billy (Baykali Ganambarr) – only to discover the ravages of genocide erupting around every bend in the forest.
Koch Media Lieutenant Hawkins (Sam Claflin) knows no mercy.
In the hands of Jennifer Kent, Clare’s individual fate becomes a projection screen that can be transferred to the climate of a historical era permeated with boundless violence. Of course “The Nightingale” is also about colonialism and therefore about exploitation and mass murder.
However, the film does not consciously exploit its subject with violent images, but wants to approach the subject in an emotional way. The juxtaposition of Clare and Billy is quite clever as it makes clear not only the excesses of colonialism in the two characters, but also how the victims are connected, even though they think they are on completely different sides.
The only problem with “The Nightingale” is that Kent can’t quite do without clichés. That doesn’t rob the film of its seething power, but if the natives are always portrayed as primitive people addicted to spirituality, then it always has a flavor. Hawkins, who is only there to be incredibly evil, is also an extremely one-dimensional character. Nevertheless, Jennifer Kent shows that she doesn’t shy away from hitting really awkward notes. “The Nightingale” is brutal, atmospheric and has a long-lasting effect.
Ironically, in the finale of a cult horror trilogy, the main actress did not want to play anymore – and the reason is completely understandable!
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