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Van Diemen's Land

DVD
? "... nothing short of extraordinary."
INDEPENDENT
Additional Details

The true story of Australia's most notorious convict, Alexander Pearce

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Director: Jonathan auf der Heide
Country: Australia
Year: 2008
Runtime: 104 mins
Genre: Drama

The true story of Australia's most notorious convict, Alexander Pearce and his infamous escape into the beautiful yet brutal Tasmanian wilderness.

A point of no return for convicts banished from their homeland, Van Diemen's Land was a feared and dreaded penal settlement at the end of the earth. The entrance to its remote station of secondary punishment, Macquarie Harbour, was named 'Hell’s Gates' by its prisoners as a reference to the gates of hell in Dante's 'Inferno' - "Abandon all hope ye who enter here" - was plastered at the Harbour's mouth as a warning to all souls sent there.

In 1822, eight convicts escaped Macquarie Harbour in a fateful bid for freedom. This band of Irish, English and Scottish thieves were immediately hurled into chaos as their plan failed and they were thrust into the heart of a harsh and foreboding landscape. With little food or equipment, in a place these immigrants knew little about, they battled a merciless enemy - the unforgiving, barren land - a land where God wields an axe.

Special Features
  • Audio commentary with director and co-writer Jonathan auf der Heide, co-writer and lead actor Oscar Redding and cinematographer Ellery Ryan
  • A Journey Up River: Making Van Diemen's Land
  • Three additional featurettes: The Battle of the Beards, Subtleties of the Slate and From Bailbo to Van Diemen's Land
  • Theatrical teaser and trailer
  • Original Storyboards
  • ATOM study guide

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