Tag Archives: bastardy

SFF 2011: Hail: Tenderness Brutality Reality

13 Jun

By Lukey Folkard, Sydney Film Festival Correspondent

I may have found my favourite Australian feature of the year and certainly the Sydney Film Festival.

Hail is a semi-fictional narrative that chronicles Daniel P Jones’ attempt to return to society and his long time girlfriend (and real life partner) Leanne Letch after his most recent stint in gaol.  A hard life and years of drug excess have left him unable to be accepted by, or adjust to, a world he has never known. Losing control seems inevitable.

Superior to the current trend of gratuitous and morally ambiguous Australian crime dramas being peddled by the networks, Hail borders on docu-drama blending both fact and fantasy from Danny’s life. This is the real thing, for the most part. It’s told by real people, who have had these actual experiences, replaying themselves for the camera.

Amiel Courtin-Wilson (Chasing Buddha, Bastardy) has known Daniel for six years since his actual release from prison and they have previously collaborated on the harrowing and award nominated documentary, Cicada.

Visually, Hail is a very harsh movie and not for the squeamish – it slots somewhere in between Wake In Fright and Candy, with nightmarish montages and a jarring, yet beautiful soundtrack. Tenderness and brutality run all the way through, realised by an amazing first-time cast.


Hail plays again on Mon June 13 at 12:45pm. Also head to Metro Screen on June 14 at 10am to see director, Amiel Court-Wilson, and producer, Michael Cody, discuss the leap from making shorts to features in the Australian film industry.