Eight men escape from the most isolated prison on earth. Only one man survives and the story he recounts shocks the British establishment to the core. This story is the last confession of Alexander Pearce.
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In 1824 and the British penal colony of VanDiemen's Land is little more than a living hell. Chained to a wall in the darkness of a Hobart cell, Pearce is visited by Father Connolly,the parish priest of the fledgling colony and a fellow Irishman. The harrowing confession Pearce makes, shocks the priest and the British establishment to the core. Written by
Actors Adrian Dunbar and Martin Jacobs were reunited for the first time in nearly thirty years on the set of The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce. Dunbar and Jacobs met at the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. See more »
The position of the hood on Pearce's head when is to be hanged changes between when it is first put on (covering down to the bridge of his nose) and when he takes the sacrament (down to his forehead). See more »
The ignominious results of disobedience to law and humanity cannot be ignored. Blood must atone blood, society requires it. Pearce's crimes are confirmed and systematic. They can't be met with leniency. Indeed they should be pursued with vengeance and made good with his death. Yet what I have seen is dreadful suffering often drives desperate men to horrific acts. This man, I prepare for the gallows, arrived here depraved, already proficient in distilling lawless habits, but here in Van Dieman's...
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Alexander Pearce was not a hero, he was not a character that you immediately feel sorry for; but he was a man who lived in the most desolate penal colony in Australia. A man driven to escape from the cruelty he endured. A man who yearned for his freedom and would do anything to survive the harshness of his surrounds. The documentary is cleverly driven by narration from the man who he confessed to, a Catholic priest and fellow Irishman. It captures the ruggedness of the bush, the desperation of the human condition and the cruel and barbarous English occupation of Tasmania. The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce is a well paced, well told and captivating confession of cannibalism.
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