Irish Film Institute -WAKE IN FRIGHT


Director: Ted Kotcheff

Australia-U.S.A., D-Cinema



This film closes on Thursday, March 13th. Tickets now on sale.

What Nick Cave calls “the best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence” languished in obscurity following its premiere at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival and disastrous commercial opening before being restored and presented again at Cannes in 2009 by Martin Scorsese as “a deeply – and I mean deeply – unsettling and disturbing movie”.

Arrogant schoolteacher John Grant (Gary Bond) has been forced to take a position in a remote township. Returning to Sydney for Christmas, he must overnight in a mining town known as ‘the Yabba’. Here, the bonhomie of the well-meaning locals, particularly ‘Doc’ Tydon (a wonderfully eccentric Donald Pleasance), has the effect of brutalising Grant, stripping away his urbane façade and revealing a drunken, self-destructive thug. A depiction of how fine the line between civilisation and barbarity can be, it’s a remarkable film, well worthy of rediscovery. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

This film will feature as part of March’s FREE film club meeting, The Critical Take, on Monday, March 24th at 18.30. This club is open to all so please join us to chat about this film and more! Simply collect your free ticket at the IFI Box Office.

★★★★★ The Irish Times

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