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The New Boy

1h 36m Drama 2023

Premiered in the Un Certain Regard strand of last year’s Cannes Film Festival, the latest film from Aboriginal Australian director Warwick Thornton (Samson And Delilah, 2009; Sweet Country, 2017) is set in mid-1940s Australia, and focuses on the experiences of a nameless 9-year-old boy (Aswan Reid) as he comes under the care of Sister Eileen (Cate Blanchett, who also produced) in a remote orphanage. As was shamefully common at the time, the boy’s indigenous heritage is effaced as attempts are made to forcefully indoctrinate him and his peers into Catholicism. However, when her more nature-oriented new charge displays supernatural powers, Sister Eileen is forced to reckon with her own faith and question its assumptions. Touching on many complex issues, with a typically superb soundtrack from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, this enigmatic film on the search for meaning makes for thought-provoking viewing.


Warwick Thornton





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