In Northern Territory, Australia in 1919, an Aboriginal boy witnesses the bloody massacre of his family by white police and is taken in for adoption and brought up by missionaries. Years later he is recruited by one of the perpetrators to help track down his uncle, who survived the attack and now leads a vengeful gang who regularly invade white communities.
Set during Australia’s Frontier Wars, there is a complexity here around the relationship between the white colonials and indigenous community that goes far beyond “Aboriginal good, white man bad” stereotypes and the two leads are superb in portraying the uneasy relationship between them and their confused loyalties. The depiction of both the Aboriginal (who were heavily involved in the development and production of the film) and settler communities feels authentic and historically accurate in a fact-based story that features many familiar Western tropes – bounty hunters, colonial struggles, horses, guns, revenge, racism – and of course, spectacular scenery.
‘To call it a timely film would be simplification. It’s timeless – a classic Australian account of the damage done by rampant colonialism.’ - Sandra Hall, The Sydney Morning Herald.
‘In the magnetic Nayinggul, superb as the boy on the brink of manhood who must choose whether to reject anger or embrace it, the film showcases a notable new talent.’ - Wedy Ide, Screen International.