The true story of Alexander Pearce, Australia's most notorious convict. In 1822, Pearce and seven fellow convicts escaped from Macquarie Harbour, a place of ultra banishment and punishment,... See full summary »

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The true story of Alexander Pearce, Australia's most notorious convict. In 1822, Pearce and seven fellow convicts escaped from Macquarie Harbour, a place of ultra banishment and punishment, only to find a world less forgiving.. the Australian wilderness. Abandon all hope you who enter. Written by Anonymous

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Hunger is a strange silence.


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24 September 2009 (Australia)  »

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Hell's Gates  »

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The dark side of men
24 January 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Despite moving at a slow pace and sometimes lacking in exposition, Van Diemen's Land is an impressive film. The story of Alexander Pearce's escape, along with 7 other convicts is gut-wrenching, especially when we take into account it is inspired by a true story (to which extent, we may never know).

As soon as the movie begins, you are hit by jaw-dropping cinematography that definitely takes you in this very different place and time. Silences and sounds are used to good effect and the minimalist score is wonderful yet bleak. The movie does not rely on much dialogue and at times, suffers a little from this

The characters are very life-like, even if they aren't sketched very clearly to start. You learn who these men are and what each is capable of over the course of the movie, which becomes increasingly bleak and permeated with a strange sense of evil. Not a cartoonish Hollywood-like evil but rather, the terrible things men can do and the group dynamics displayed when acts of cruelty are done.

The narration by the character Pearce did not work all that well for me, and the movie felt a tad long to me due to its slow pace but this was an uneasy viewing. The genre listed on IMDb is "thriller" but this felt much more like a very, very gruesome drama. This is a film bordering on horror themes. Do not expect flashy scenes of action and clear cut good guys against bad guys.

Worthwhile, even if somewhat depressing


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