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The Furnace

  • Drama
  • 2020
  • Roderick MacKay
  • 117 mins
  • 15

Summary

In an effort to escape the Outback, a young Afghan cameleer falls in with a mysterious bushman on the run with stolen Crown gold. Writer-director Roderick MacKay's historical adventure, starring David Wenham, Ahmed Malek, Jay Ryan, Erik Thomson and Mahesh Jadu.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

With its unyielding landscapes and ill-gotten gold, Roderick MacKay's debut feature puts a ruggedly compelling twist on western tropes as it focusses on an underexplored chapter of Australia's past. The setting is the Western Australian outback in 1897, where an Afghan camel handler (Ahmed Malek) forms a tense union with a wounded yet wily bandit (David Wenham) over stolen Crown gold. In pursuit, brutal law officials threaten swift punishment. Echoing films including The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Proposition, The Furnace makes a tight fist of race themes and genre basics. At its core, the sweet-faced Malek and beady-eyed Wenham generate an immersive push-pull chemistry, while cinematographer Michael McDermott captures a series of commanding images. Although some of MacKay's points land bluntly, his often brash narrative ultimately proves equally as hypnotic and ruthless as the film's sun-parched setting.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Hanif Gilal AbdullahAhmed Malek
Mal RileyDavid Wenham
WoorakBayhkali Ganambarr
Sergeant ShawJay Ryan
Corporal BriggsErik Thomson
CooberingTrevor Jamieson

Crew

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DirectorRoderick MacKay

Details

Guidance
Violence, swearing, drug abuse
Formats
Colour
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