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Van Diemen's Land (film)

Van Diemen's Land is a 2009 Australian thriller set in 1822 in colonial Tasmania.[1] It follows the story of the infamous Irish convict, Alexander Pearce, played by Oscar Redding[2] and his escape with seven other convicts. The voice-over and some of the dialogue is in Irish.

Van Diemen's Land
Directed byJonathan auf der Heide
Produced byMaggie Miles
Written byJonathan auf der Heide
Oscar Redding
StarringOscar Redding
Greg Stone
Music byJethro Woodward
CinematographyEllery Ryan
Edited byCindy Clarkson
Release date
24 September 2009 (2009-09-24)
Running time
104 minutes
Box office$289,858



A group of transported convicts, suffering brutal treatment at the Sarah Island penal settlement on Van Diemens Land, escape into the Tasmanian wilderness in hopes of reaching the settlements to the east.[3] Their enthusiasm and bravado soon give way to hunger, which saps their strength and causes them to despair.[4] Former urban dwellers, the English, Irish and Scottish convicts realise that not only are they lost,[5] but they do not even know how to hunt or fish. The oppressive nature of landscape becomes the setting for murder, as hunger forces the group to turn to cannibalism, killing and eating the members of the group one by one. The men do all in their power to keep moving, watch their back and avoid sleep, lest they be the next meal.[6]



  • Alexander Pearce – Aged 32, Irish, thief
  • Robert Greenhill – 32, English, sailor
  • Matthew Travers – 27, Irish, farmer
  • Alexander Dalton – 25, Irish, ex-soldier
  • John Mather – 24, Scottish, bread baker
  • Thomas Bodenham – 22, English, thief
  • William Kennerly – 44, Irish, thief
  • Edward 'Little' Brown – 48, English, profession unknown


Release and receptionEdit

Van Diemen's Land was released to Australian cinemas on 24 September 2009, and was rated MA15+ for "strong violence and coarse language".[8] It received mostly positive reviews, and it earned an 80% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 10 reviews with an average 6.6/10 rating.[9] During the opening weekend, the film grossed $39,939 at the 9 theatres it played ($4,438 average).[10]

Box officeEdit

Van Diemen's Land grossed $289,858 at the box office in Australia.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Stratton, David (19 September 2009). "Escape into a different hell". The Australian. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  2. ^ FFF. FILM
  3. ^ Fantastic Fest Review: Van Diemen's Land – Film School Rejects
  4. ^ Byrnes, Paul (28 September 2009). "Van Diemen's Land". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  5. ^ Morris, Anthony (22 September 2009). "Van Diemen's Land – review". TheVine.
  6. ^ Van Diemen's Land (2009) – Fantasy FilmFest Archiv
  7. ^ Characters Archived 18 February 2013 at WebCite Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  8. ^ "Van Diemen's Land". Australian Classification Board. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2010.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Van Diemen's Land (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Film Victoria – Australian Films at the Australian Box Office

External linksEdit