By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Writer/director Jennifer Kent has followed up the psychological horrors of her modern classic THE BABADOOK with the historical trauma of THE NIGHTINGALE, and now it has been picked up for U.S. release.
Variety reports that IFC Films, which handled THE BABADOOK Stateside, will do the same for THE NIGHTINGALE, which makes its North American debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. NIGHTINGALE, which won the Special Jury Prize and the Marcello Mastroianni award for Best New Young Performer (Baykali Ganambarr) at last year’s Venice International Film Festival, stars Aisling Franciosi as Claire, a young Irish convict in 1825 Tasmania. After serving her sentence, she is brutalized by a British army officer (Sam Claflin), and sets out through the wilderness to seek vengeance upon him, accompanied by an aboriginal tracker (Ganambarr). “The film is a study on violence and what a violent mind and therefore a violent society can do to damage the human spirit,” Kent tells the trade. “It’s about how we can evolve through and beyond that violence.
“For independent filmmakers these days it’s so important to find someone who will protect the work you do,” she adds. “I was so happy with the way that IFC protected THE BABADOOK and guided it to the right audience.” The distributor is targeting a summer release.