BOOK CLUB: THE DROVER’S WIFE (SHORT) & THE DROVER’S WIFE THE LEGEND OF MOLLY JOHNSON + Discussion
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BOOK CLUB: THE DROVER’S WIFE (SHORT) & THE DROVER’S WIFE THE LEGEND OF MOLLY JOHNSON + Discussion

BOOK CLUB AT THE NFSA IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CANBERRA WRITERS FESTIVAL
Sun
20
Sun 20 Oct 1:00 PM

Arc Cinema
Allocated Seating
125 Mins | Book Club
October
Sun 20 Oct

1984 17 mins |16mmAUS |DSue Brooks 
2021 108 mins |DCPAUS | D: Leah Purcell 
 
Published in 1892, The Drover’s Wife is a portrait of isolation in the Australian outback, penned by one of Australia’s most well-known authors. Henry Lawson’s short story has since been extensively adapted, critiqued and reinterpreted, from visual arts to the screen. 
 
Created as part of her studies at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), Sue Brooks’ short film uses the myth of the drover's wife to explore the portrayal of women – or lack thereof – in Australia’s cultural history. Brooks’ film is based on Murray Bail’s short story adaptation of The Drover’s Wife, and draws on the Russell Drysdale painting of the same name. 
 
Meanwhile, writer/director and creative powerhouse Leah Purcell offers her own reimagining in the feature film The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly JohnsonPurcell also stars as the titular Molly, a heavily pregnant woman pushed to her limits and isolated in the remote high country of colonial New South Wales Originally adapted for the stage, Purcell’s interpretation invites contemporary audiences to see Lawson’s classic story through First Nations and feminist lenses.  
 
‘…a powerful, and still quite rare, view on the fraught founding of contemporary Australia as told from a woman’s perspective, by a woman filmmaker – TimeOut 
 
Sue Brooks’ short film The Drover’s Wife is presented on 16mm film prints from the NFSA collection. 
 
The screening will be followed by a discussion of the films and Henry Lawson’s short story The Drover’s Wife with actor, writer and director Leah Purcell AM.  


discounted season pass is available for the Book Club at the NFSA program. Learn more

LEAH PURCELL AM 
A proud Guwa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka Murri woman from QueenslandLeah Purcell is one of Australia’s leading polymaths, with award-winning and nominated roles in theatre, film, music and television as an actor, writer, director, singer and producer. 


Leah recently headlined the critically acclaimed Foxtel drama series High Country.  She starred alongside Sigourney Weaver and has been nominated for a Logie and AACTA Awards for the Amazon original miniseries The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. Other notable credits include Bran Nue Dae, Box the PonyWentworthJanet KingRedfern Now, The PropositionLantana and Shayda. 
Leah’s feature film directorial debut, The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson –which she wrote, produced, directed and starred in – received 13 AACTA Award nominations, with Leah winning the 2022 AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in a Film. 
October
Sun 20 Oct

Arc Cinema

1 McCoy Circuit Acton, Australian Capital Territory, 2601