Excerpt: 1822. Alexander Pearce (Oscar Redding) is sent to the Penal Station at Macquarie Harbour, on the west coast of Van Diemen's Land (the island now known as Tasmania). Pearce and seven other convicts manage to escape and flee inland into the jungle. But they soon run out of food and it becomes clear that they will not survive in this unforgiving environment. Only one last desperate solution presents itself. A true story.
Excerpt: “No man knows what he’s capable of until driven by hunger.” This is a dark and foreboding film that is almost stripped of any colour – the monotone hues try to hide the beauty of this retched land, but fails to do so, just as the monotonous start to the story belies what lays ahead. Be warned dear viewer though, Van Diemen’s Land is not for everyone, and many will find it hard to see the beauty that abounds in this Aussie classic.
Excerpt: "Van Diemen's Land" plays like a horror/slasher film. The format is very simple: convicts sit by the fire hiding fears they're the next to be killed, and then proceed to walk through the forest (in the most captivating moments of the film), before one is inevitably bludgeoned to death for food. If we were able to associate more with the characters' hunger and desperation, it may have had a greater impact, but in the end it's just simple and barbaric.