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The Nightingale (2018)

2:20 | Trailer
Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.


Jennifer Kent


Jennifer Kent
1,758 ( 9)
25 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Aisling Franciosi ... Clare
Baykali Ganambarr ... Billy
Damon Herriman ... Ruse
Charlie Jampijinpa Brown ... Uncle Charlie
Harry Greenwood ... Jago
Claire Jones ... Harriet
Michael Sheasby ... Aidan
Addison Christie Addison Christie ... Baby Brigit
Maya Christie Maya Christie ... Baby Brigit
Sam Claflin ... Hawkins
Eloise Winestock ... Luddy
Ewen Leslie ... Goodwin
Matthew Barker Matthew Barker ... Goodwin's Ensign
Charles McCarthy Charles McCarthy ... Convict Violinist
Ben Morton Ben Morton ... Wallace


THE NIGHTINGALE is a meditation on the horrors of Australian colonization, set at the turn of the 19th century. The film follows Clare, a 21-year-old native Irish wife and mother held captive beyond her 7-year sentence, desperate to be free of her obsessed master, British lieutenant Hawkins. Clare's husband Aidan intervenes with devastating consequences for all. When British authorities fail to deliver justice, Clare pursues Hawkins, who leaves his post suddenly to secure a captaincy up north. Unfamiliar with the Tasmanian wilderness she enlists the help of an orphaned Aboriginal tracker Billy. Marked by their traumas, the two fight to overcome their distrust and prejudices against the backdrop of Australia's infamous 'Black War'. Written by Mae Moreno

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Her song will not be silenced. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violent and disturbing content including rape, language throughout, and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Writer-Director, Jennifer Kent was determined that the violence in the film would be an honest and authentic depiction. In order to respect those who suffered and died during this period in colonial Australia, she wouldn't shy away from the truth of what happened. "Many Australians know what happened in certain parts of the country during that time, and other people don't," Kent said "a lot of people outside Australia know nothing or very little about it. I couldn't go into this part of our history and water it down." She added: "Like many other countries that have been colonized, the indigenous people of Australia were subject to horrendous treatment by the colonisers. The systems of power were brutal, and I wanted The Nightingale (2018) to reflect this." See more »


When Billy finds Uncle Charlie shot dead, he is clearly breathing. See more »


Clare: The little bird thought she was going to die out there in the forest. All alone. She called out in her sweet, baby voice, to see if her ma would hear her. Her voice was so pure, it carried for miles through the trees. And suddenly, out of nowhere, her ma came flying down and scooped her up in her breast. And the little baby bird chirped with delight. She held on tight to the trees till they came to a beautiful place. Where she and her ma and pa could live happily together. The sun shone ...
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Crazy Credits

" Tasmanian Aboriginal culture is a living culture. The Aboriginal language used in this film is called 'Palawa kani'. It was created by current day Tasmanian Aboriginal people using records of their original languages. Aboriginal actors cast in this film are from mainland Australia. They and we pay our respects to the aboriginal people of Lutruwita (Tasmania) past and present." See more »


Performed by Aisling Franciosi
Traditional, Public Domain
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User Reviews

Beautiful darkness
24 April 2020 | by mosseliSee all my reviews

The Nightingale is not an easy watch, that's for sure, but definately is one worthy of your full attention. The movie is a disturbingly realistic depiction of 1825 Tasmania, Austrailia. The colonization and mass murders of the aboriginal people is not brought up nearly enough, especially not in film. This one, however, does not shy away from showing all the horrors people from that time went through. Even though on paper it's such a depressing film, the stunning cinematography shines through, bringing just enough light in the darkness to make this a near masterpiece.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Australia | USA


English | Irish | Aboriginal

Release Date:

29 August 2019 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Nightingale See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,882, 4 August 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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