The Furnace, High Ground and reborn Buoyancy face international critics

Three tough Australian feature films are making waves on the international arthouse circuit.

Critics could debate the merits and subtleties of The FurnaceHigh Ground (and Sweet Country in 2018) in their stories of the Australian frontier. At this stage, we are seeing Australian filmmakers bring a disciplined, unflinching eye to masculine violence and racist horror. International critics are impressed, but local audiences could follow the thread or ignore the pain. Either way, the films push deeply into the repressed monsters beneath our popular culture view of history. 

Roderick MacKay’s film The Furnace was selected by Venice for the Orrizionte strand, prized as one of 19 ‘films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema’. It runs in parallel with the mainstream Golden Lion Awards, but it is also a competitive strand which specialises in small, culturally diverse films. 

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.