Heaven's Burning

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Heaven's Burning
Heavens Burning poster.jpg
Directed by Craig Lahiff
Produced by Al Clark
Helen Leake
Written by Louis Nowra
Starring Russel Crowe
Youki Kudoh
Release dates
3 April 1998
Running time
96 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Box office $5,000[1]

Heaven's Burning is a 1997 Australian film directed by Craig Lahiff and written by Louis Nowra.[2]


Midori Takada (Youki Kudoh) arrives in Sydney with her new husband Yukio (Kenji Isomura). She believes her marriage is a mistake and uses the honeymoon as a means to escape by walking out of their hotel room. She goes to a bank but a robbery takes place.

Colin O'Brien (Russell Crowe) is an experienced getaway driver. He is hired by an Australian-Afghani family who plan to rob a bank. During the robbery one member is killed by being crushed by the banks security screen. They grab a hostage (Midori) and escape.

In some wasteland outside the city they decide to get rid of their hostage. Colin will not stand by and watch her be killed. He shoots one of the brothers and threatens to shoot the other – Mahood (Robert Mammone). Colin and Midori escape. Colin wishes to travel to his father's farm (Ray Barrett as Cam). Midori sees this as her opportunity to continue on her plans to escape and chooses to stay with Colin. Over the course of their trip they form a bond.

Mahood returns home with the news of the death of his brothers. His father Boorjan (Petru Gheorghiu) swears revenge and they set out to track Colin and Midori. The police, watching the family also set out to track down Colin.

Yukio is also told of his wife's involvement but he knows she had walked out. His honor is injured and he also sets out to find her to pay her back.

The film then becomes a road-movie as we see the two soon-to-be-lovers venture across New South Wales followed by the police, Yukio, and the Afghani family all seeking to catch up with them, but for different ends



The film earned $55,780 from its limited release in Australian theatres.[3]

The film received mixed reviews. David Stratton from Variety gave a favourable review, calling the film "an energetic road movie that keeps careening off in unexpected directions".[4] Movie-vault.com gave the film 5 out of 10, commenting that for an 'action/drama' film, the film had little action and did not perform well as a drama.[5] Time Out's review stated the film took a while to take off, and had some criticism of the plot and acting, but noted the director "manages to balance the action and human interest".[6]

DVD release[edit]

The film was released on DVD on 7 November 2000. It was presented in 2.35:1 widescreen. Reviewers complained of the amount of grain in the footage, also not impressed by marks and spots on the film.[7][8] It featured Dolby Stereo 2.0 sound however the sound was criticized for being mixed in too low,[8] and being difficult to understand at times.[7] The DVD did receive praise for the amount of extras it included.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Heaven's Burning". the-numbers.com. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Paul Kalina, "Heaven's Burning", Cinema Papers, May 1997 p38-40
  3. ^ "Australian Films at the Australian Box Office". Film Victoria. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Stratton, David (2 June 1997). "Heaven's Burning". Variety. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Lasca, Arturo Garcia. "Heaven's Burning". Movie-vault.com. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Heaven's Burning". Time Out. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c "Heaven's Burning". DVDtalk.com. 20 December 2000. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c "Heaven's Burning". DVDauthority.com. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 

External links[edit]