Van Diemen's Land (film)

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Van Diemen's Land
Directed by Jonathan auf der Heide
Produced by Maggie Miles
Written by Jonathan auf der Heide
Oscar Redding
Starring Oscar Redding
Greg Stone
Music by Jethro Woodward
Cinematography Ellery Ryan
Edited by Cindy Clarkson
Release date
24 September 2009 (2009-09-24)
Running time
104 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Box office $289,858

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.


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


  • Oscar Redding as Alexander Pearce
  • Arthur Angel as Robert Greenhill
  • Paul Ashcroft as Matthew Travers
  • Mark Leonard Winter as Alexander Dalton
  • Torquil Neilson as John Mather
  • Thomas Wright as Thomas Bodenham
  • Greg Stone as William Kennerly
  • John Francis Howard as Edward 'Little' Brown

Release and reception[edit]

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 as of 21 December 2014 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 office[edit]

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

See also[edit]


External links[edit]