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From writer-director-cinematographer Warwick Thornton comes a spiritual drama that’s equal parts magic and heartache. Starring Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett and newcomer Aswan Reid, The New Boy hauntingly evokes Australia’s fraught colonial legacy through the story of one very special child.
In 1940s Australia, in the middle of World War II, an unnamed Aboriginal boy is delivered to a remote rural monastery after being abducted by police, where Sister Eileen oversees a shelter for abandoned children. Eileen is caring and patient with those in her charge, but she is resolute in her mission to convert these young souls to Christianity. The new boy doesn’t speak English and resists adopting his keepers’ standards of civilized comportment, but he does seem responsive to Eileen’s religious instruction, embracing a beautifully carved crucifix with innate reverence. What’s more, the new boy appears to possess miraculous abilities akin to those of Eileen’s chosen saviour – abilities that might recede if Eileen fails to recognize how Christian and Indigenous beliefs can exist in harmony.
Running time: 116 mins
ATOM has also produced a study guide for The New Boy. This study guide is available for download here.
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