The Drover’s Wife – The Legend of Molly Johnson

MIFF21-The-Drover's-Wife-The-Legend-Of-Molly-JohnsonNow screening in cinemas, the debut feature film from Leah Purcell, The Drover’s Wife – The Legend of Molly Johnson is a magnificent Australian feature film with striking scenery and superb performances.

Based on the Henry Lawson short story and re-imagined for a modern audience by Purcell, the film tells the story of a woman and her stubborn determination to protect her family from the harshness of a life in 1893, Snowy Mountains.

Both a searing thriller and a stark revisionist Western, the film offers a powerful new interrogation of Australian history and culture through the determination of a woman to ensure her children are given a future filled with hope.

Molly Johnson’s husband is away droving cattle, leaving her alone to care for their four children at their remote Snowy Mountains homestead. Despite being heavily pregnant, Molly keeps various threats, from nature and other people, at bay.

But when Yadaka, an Aboriginal man on the run from white law enforcement, intrudes on the sanctuary she has carved out, the brutal hardships and secrets that have followed them both throughout their lives must be confronted.

Filmed on location in Australia’s dramatic high country including Adaminaby, Snowy Mountains, the Monaro Plains, The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson is the feature adaptation of Leah Purcell’s hugely successful stage play.

Amongst the play’s many accolades it received the national Helpmann Award for Best Play and Best New Australian Work, the David Williamson Prize for excellence in writing for Australian theatre and the AWGIE’s Major Award.

Leah Purcell directed and stars in the film and wrote the screenplay. She is joined in the cast by Rob Collins (Cleverman, The Wrong Girl), Sam Reid (Lambs of God, The Railway Man), Jessica de Gouw (Arrow, Gretel & Hansel), Malachi Dower-Roberts, Tony Cogin and Harry Greenwood.

“As an Indigenous Australian woman and filmmaker, I am proud to be sharing a story that literally has mine and my family’s DNA all over it and to be able to share our cultural practise as storytellers through film to the world,” said Purcell.

The Drover’s Wife – The Legend of Molly Johnson is screening in cinemas nationally. Checkout the trailer here!

Image: Leah Purcell in The Drover’s Wife – The Legend of Molly Johnson – courtesy of Roadshow