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The New Boy

Warwick Thornton | 2023 | 116 MINS
Australia
International Panorama: Australia

Cate Blanchett produces and stars in this new film by Australian First Nation director Warwick Thornton (‘Sweet Country’), which sees a nine-year-old Australian Aboriginal orphan boy arrive in the dead of night at a remote monastery run by a renegade nun.

★★★★ Time Out

In Detail

Blanchett plays the head of a troubled monastery in the outback for abandoned children (some of whom weren't actually "abandoned" but kidnapped). When a new boy arrives – magnificently played by first-time actor Aswan Reid - Sister Eileen’s concept of faith is challenged when he starts showing signs of miraculous powers.

Thornton tells a tale from a dark chapter of his country’s history, when Australia kidnapped Aboriginal children and did everything to destroy their heritage and identity. He has drawn on his own unhappy experiences as a Kaytetye boy from Alice Springs, from where he was sent at 11 to a Western Australian boarding school run by Benedictine monks. The film is gorgeous throughout, and Thornton shoots the landscapes of Australia as well as anyone, and a typically excellent score from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis helps make this a consistently interesting experience.

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