A remarkable debut from writer/director Victoria Wharfe McIntyre, THE FLOOD examines the appalling plight of Indigenous Australians after World War Two, and the rip-roaring revenge one of them took against a cruel enemy all too close to home. Heartbreaking cruelty is superseded by gut-wrenching violence, in this shockingly relevant story of injustice and the need for compassion. With most of the shooting locations destroyed in the January 2020 megafire, THE FLOOD is now a visual archive of an ancient Australian rainforest world that no longer exists.
Directed with real verve and unflinching style by McIntyre, nimbly switching between timeframes, THE FLOOD features some strikingly powerful set pieces (including an almost unbearable campsite massacre, and some thrilling shoot-outs), and a mesmerising lead performance from Alexis Lane (remarkable assured in her feature debut) as Jarah, a young woman who pushes back against indignities and outrages in a bloody fashion. When someone tells her “bad things are coming”, they don’t realise those bad things are her! This is emancipation garnered at the end of a rifle.
Recalling The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith’s visceral howl of rage, and with the feel of a classic western like Unforgiven, the female-centric THE FLOOD is a dynamic, beautifully shot, emotive and action-packed film from a talent to watch. As Yara says in the film: “Saddle up – it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
“If your child was stolen and sent to hell, what would you do?”
Set during WWII this is the story of Jarah’s coming-of-age in a brutal and lawless land – growing from a sweet child to a strong, independent and ferocious woman taking on Australia’s corrupt and bigoted system one bad guy at a time. In the best tradition of the gunslinging outlaw, when the enigmatic Jarah is pushed to the limit she explodes in a fury of retribution. But for a revenge western there is a surprising series of twists and turns that lead us closer to redemption and reconciliation.