Available exclusively on FILMO, High Ground is a western with thriller accents worn by Simon Baker. In his second film, director Stephen Maxwell Johnson shines the spotlight on Australia and its Aboriginal tribes.
– Partner content –
A LONG TIME PROJECT
This Thursday, January 20, High Ground arrives exclusively on FILMO, the first independent video-on-demand platform in France.
For more than 20 years now, director Stephen Maxwell Johnson has been working on this film centered on the massacre of an aboriginal tribe and the consequences of this tragedy. “People weren’t ready for a story like this. No one wanted to hear about massacres, our real history […]. But in recent years, we are finally starting to talk about it,” he told the newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald.
Inspired by real events, his second feature film tells the story of Travis, a former soldier turned policeman in northern Australia. An intervention over which he loses control leads to the massacre of an indigenous tribe. Twelve years later, he teams up with Gutjuk, a young Aboriginal man, to track down Baywara, the land’s most dangerous warrior. But his past will quickly catch up with him…
“High Ground is a powerful human drama, imbued with a strong sense of hope and fear, a story of betrayal, heroism, sacrifice, freedom and love, mistaken beliefs, unequal power struggle , and mourning. But it is above all a story about discovering one’s roots,” emphasizes the director.
SIMON BAKER HEADLINES
In High Ground, Stephen Maxwell Johnson entrusted the role of the former sniper Travis to the Australian actor Simon Baker (Hartley raw hearts, Mentalist). Asked about his participation in the film by Collider, he explains : “To begin with, I have never seen a film like this. I found him ambitious in what he wanted to tell, while trying to do it in a captivating way”.
The director also finds Jack Thompson (Gatsby the Magnificent), with whom he had already collaborated on his first feature film Yolngu Boy in 2001. The two actors are surrounded by Callan Mulvey, Caren Pistorius and beginners Jacob Junior Nayinggul, in the role from Gutjuk, and Witiyana Marika, both from the area known as “Arnhem Land” where the action of the film takes place.
High Ground was filmed in Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land in northern Australia, offering viewers breathtaking landscapes.
AWARDED AT THE AACTA AWARDS
For more than ten years now, the AACTA Awards (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards), the Australian equivalent of the Oscars, reward the best of cinema and television made in Australia.
Very well received, High Ground won no less than ten nominations in 2021, including best film, best director, best original screenplay and best actor for Simon Baker. At the end of the ceremony, the feature film leaves with the prize for best costume design, awarded to the film’s costume designer Erin Roche!
During the 23rd Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma des Antipodes, which was held in St Tropez in October 2021, High Ground also received the audience award, as well as the best actor award for Jacob Junior Nagingul.
Discover High Ground now exclusively on FILMO.