Venice FF

Roderick MacKay – The Furnace #Venezia77

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4 min. and 42 sec.

The director of The furnace talks to FRED about his first feature film, set in 1890’s outback Australia.

Play Podcast
4 min. and 42 sec.

PODCAST | David Martos interviews Hiam Abbass, director of the film The Furnace.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

Australian director Roderick MacKay comes to Venice Film Festival with his first feature film, The Furnace, set in the 1890’s. The filmmaker talks about the situation of Indian, Afghan and Persian workers that were taken to Australia by the British Empire in order to work handling camels.

The Furnace: 1897 Western Australia. To escape a harsh existence and return home, a young Afghan cameleer partners with a mysterious bushman on the run with two 400oz Crown-marked gold bars. Together the unlikely pair must outwit a zealous police sergeant and his troopers in a race to reach a secret furnace—the one place where they can safely reset the bars to remove the mark of the Crown. The film is an unlikely hero’s tale, navigating greed and the search for identity in a new land. It illuminates the forgotten history of Australia’s “Ghan” cameleers, predominantly Muslim and Sikh men from India, Afghanistan and Persia, who opened up the Nation’s desert interior, thereby forming unique bonds with local Aboriginal people.

  • Reporter
    David Martos
  • Guest
    Roderick MacKay
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    The Furnace
  • Festival section
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