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MOLOKAI: THE STORY OF ‘FATHER DAMIEN’

Australia / Belgium / Netherlands, 1999 (MIFF 2000, Australian Showcase)

Director: Paul Cox

Molokai: The Story of 'Father Damien' is the inspirational saga of idealistic Belgian priest Father Damien who gave his compassion, seemingly limitless energy and, ultimately, his life to an isolated Hawaiian community of lepers. Paul Cox combines his acute eye for breathtaking scenery (evident in island) with the humanity of Man of Flowers and Golden Braid in this biographical tour de force. A stellar cast including David Wenham (The Boys, ABC TV's Sea Change) in the lead role; Leo McKem and Derek Jacobi as antiquated denes; Sam Neill as a corrupt politician; Peter O'Toole as a medic in the final stages of the horrifying disease; Kris Kristofferson as a Belgian cowboy along with Australian Aden Young and the striking Alice Krige as a nursing nun. Wenham's Damien is a virtuous, self-sacrificing (even self-righteous) firebrand. Damien is from an age when heroic action, charity and spiritual thought were an integral part of everyday life. His battle against time, disease, church and bureaucracy is heart-wrenching, impossibly courageous and utterly authentic. Captivating!

* Paul Cox is a guest of the Festival


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