Irish Film Institute -PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK


Director: PETER WEIR

115 minutes, Australia, 1975, Colour, Blu-ray

Faithfully adapted from Joan Lindsay’s 1967 mystery novel of the same name, this female-centric film was one of the key titles of the Australian New Wave and was both a critical and box-office sensation on release. Opening on Valentine’s Day in 1900 at the fictional Appleyard Private Girls’ school in Victoria, pallid Sara looks on as everyone else excitedly prepares to go out for a picnic at an ancient geological formation called Hanging Rock.

When four of the girls, led by the virginal Miranda, go off to explore and inexplicably fail to return, Sara becomes severely withdrawn and hysteria quickly spreads throughout the local settler community. (Notes by Alice Butler.) 

This event is part of Beyond the Bechdel Test, our season throughout July focusing on the work of directors who have explored the complex ties between women that are an integral aspect of the films’ narratives, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel who introduced the idea in her 1985 comic strip.

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