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The Nightingale (2018)


This is a rape-revenge western thriller by the same director as The Babadook (2014). It takes place during the English colonization of Tasmania in the early XIX century and is centered around an Irish woman who ends up joining paths with an Aboriginal man in a quest to get revenge over the men who destroyed her life.

I found this movie very powerful and beautiful, and I believe that this is, in part, because the movie does not shy away from showing the cruelty of that time. There are some scenes in The Nightingale that are pretty tough to watch, the most infamous of them being the initial rape scene. Most fans were expecting a lot from director Jennifer Kent, since The Babadook was such a breath of fresh air to the often recycled horror genre. And although this is by no means a horror movie, it does play a horror card very well: it shows the horror of human history and dives deep in the human relationships within.

The depiction of violence against women in this movie is not without meaning, and Jennifer Kent knew very well what she was doing. There is no splatter, no gore and no objectification. This is a serious movie. Clare and Billy are both victims of the white colonizing men, both have suffered immense horrors by their hand, but that does not mean they are weak; it only goes to show how strong they are. The movie gives voice to the ones who have been silenced throughout history, and I believe that is a story worth being told. You can check this cool article for more info on women in horror.

This is a movie worth watching because not many movies revolve around the genocide of aboriginal people in Australia and Tasmania, and mostly because it is truly entertaining to watch how the relationship between the main characters Clare and Billy progresses. And that’s what makes a movie interesting: being able to witness the progress not only of the characters, but of the relationships between them.

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