Cert 18 Stars 4

Easily the most cruel and harrowing experience of the year, this period Tasmanian revenge western is a bloodily violent condemnation of colonialism.

When an Irish convict hires an aborigine guide to take her across the wilderness so she can exact retribution on the British soldiers who casually murdered her family, their abrasive relationship finds common ground in a love of folk songs and a hatred of the English.

Aisling Franciosi gives an extraordinary performance in of trauma, anger and determination as Clare, balanced by the doleful humour of Baykali Ganambarr as Billy.

Meanwhile Sam Claflin’s murderous lieutenant is a magnificently evil combination of ambition, cunning and callousness, whose cross-country trek of rape and murder is a brutal microcosm of the British empire at its worst.

Crafted with a lyrical and furious integrity and economical purpose, it demonstrates director Jennifer ‘The Babadook’ Kent is one the foremost Australian talents with the potential to sit alongside Peter ‘Gallipoli’ Weir and George ‘Mad Max’ Miller.