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Mystery Road

Australia | 2013 | 118 minutes | Ivan Sen

When a teenage girl is found murdered beside a highway, an aboriginal detective has personal reasons to crack the case. Both gunslinging western and police procedural, this superbly controlled film features some of Australia’s best actors.

May 19, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
9:30 PM Date has passed
May 22, 2014
AMC Pacific Place 11  
9:30 PM Date has passed
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When a teenage girl is found murdered beside a rural highway in Winton, Queensland, aboriginal police detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen, “City Homicide”) has personal reasons to crack the case. His relationship with his wife and daughter is practically nonexistent as a result of his choices, one of which was taking a job in the city, and now it mirrors his relationship with the Queensland townspeople. Returning to his hometown now as an outsider who is no longer part of the indigenous community, nor respected by the white establishment he works for, Jay exposes corruption at his peril. As he gradually unravels a complex and disturbing crime web, the sleepy town’s long-simmering racial tensions between both communities rise to the surface. Brandishing genre inspiration from classic western and police procedural, noir and social commentary, this superbly controlled film features some of Australia’s best actors, including Hugh Weaving (Lord of the Rings), Ryan Kwanten (“True Blood”), and Jack Thompson (Breaker Morant). Australian Indigenous director Ivan Sen (who also wrote the screenplay, photographed, scored, and edited the movie) suffuses his gripping outback western with a hostile beauty. Mystery Road guides us through its transformative storyline with a tight script and captivating, multifaceted characters, while treating us to the sprawling, gloomy outback landscape.

Director Biography

Australian director Ivan Sen began his career with several short films before making his feature length directorial debut with Beneath Clouds (2002). Sen has won numerous awards for his films including a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and the Byron Kennedy Award from the Australian Film Institute. 

Sponsored by The Maxwell Hotel, Muckleshoot Tribe

Director: Ivan Sen
Principal Cast: Aaron Pedersen, Ryan Kwanten, Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson, Tasma Walton
Country: Australia
Year: 2013
Running Time: 118 minutes
Producer: David Jowsey
Screenplay: Ivan Sen
Cinematographers: Ivan Sen
Editors: Ivan Sen
Music: Ivan Sen
Website: Official Film Website
Awards: Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards 2014 (Best Film, Director, Actor)
Filmography: Toomelah (2011); Dreamland (2009); A Sister's Love (Doc, 2007); Beneath Clouds (2002)
Language: English
US Distributor: Well Go USA
International Sales: Arclight Films
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