fbpx
We acknowledge Australia’s First Nations People as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land, and pay respect to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, upon whose Country SFF are based.
We honour the storytelling and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson

Directed by Leah Purcell
2020
Australia
109 minutes
MA15+
Book Tickets
Save up to $7/ticket with a Flexipass, valid for in cinema sessions only.
Leah Purcell wrote, directs and stars in this period Western about a determined mother protecting her children – a searing reimagining of Henry Lawson’s classic with an Indigenous female gaze.
It's 1893 in the alpine country of Australia's Snowy Mountains. On an isolated farm, the heavily pregnant Molly Johnson (Purcell) and her young children struggle to survive in the absence of her drover husband. When a fugitive Aboriginal man, Yadaka (Rob Collins), arrives on her property, Molly initially treats him with extreme caution. But gradually, Yadaka proves helpful in a difficult situation, and just might provide a link to Molly's past. Meanwhile, the continuing absence of Molly's husband starts to draw the attention of lawman Nate Clintoff (Sam Reid) and his wife Louisa (Jessica De Gouw), leading to devastating consequences. Purcell has explored this material before, to great impact, in both novel and play form. With this vibrant cinematic adaptation, she brings a radical and strikingly contemporary vision to the story. As Purcell says: "I was brought up by storytellers, within a culture where the tradition of storytelling is passed down and histories are heard from the Black experience, not from white-washed history books."

Leah Purcell, a proud Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka Murri woman, is an internationally acclaimed director, writer and actor. Along with extensive theatre credits, Purcell directed the short films She. Say (SFF 2012) and Aunty Maggie and the Womba Wakgun. In 2017 she was awarded the Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award. The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson is her debut feature film.
An exceptionally compelling outback Western.
Joe Leydon, Variety
Following a mother determined to protect her children as a lawman and an Aboriginal fugitive each encroach upon her life, the atmospheric revenge-thriller marks the feature filmmaking debut of actor/writer/director Leah Purcell, who plays the titular matriarch with steely resolve, rousingly adapts her own play and book, and delivers an impassioned film with an unflinching Indigenous and feminist perspective.
Sarah Ward, Screen International

Tickets

Sat 6 Nov
6pm
State Theatre
Book Tickets Cancel
Sun 7 Nov
12pm
State Theatre
Book Tickets Cancel
Tue 9 Nov
6:15pm
Ritz Cinemas Randwick 1
Book Tickets Cancel
Program Strand
Official Competition
Year
2020
Classification
MA15+
Country
Australia
Language
In English
Director
Leah Purcell
Producer
Bain Stewart, David Jowsey, Angela Littlejohn, Greer Simpkin, Leah Purcell
Cast
Leah Purcell, Rob Collins, Sam Reid
Screenwriter
Leah Purcell
Cinematographer
Mark Wareham
Editor
Dany Cooper
Genre
First Nations, Australian Films, Focus on Women, Literary & Adaptations, Politics & Economics, Religion & Belief, Women Directors
Company Credits
Australian Distributor: Roadshow Entertainment
Cart
Clear Cart

Your in cinema cart is empty.

View over 500 sessions to find the right films and events for you!

Browse In Cinema Program

Check out our list of films showing in your area

Browse Films

Interested in streaming the top films from the Festival, on demand and from your lounge room?

Browse On Demand Program

Donate Today
Help us bring you the best in cinema worldwide.
Booking Fee
$0
Subtotal
Total
Planner

Your planner helps you schedule your entire SFF experience. It shows sessions you've saved, purchased or added to your cart in a helpful timeline.

Sign in or register to save your planner!

Your planner is empty.

Use your planner to create your own unique SFF Experience

Browse Films & Events

Interested in streaming the top films from the Festival, on demand and from your lounge room?

Browse On Demand Program