Waiting for the Barbarians

Ciro Guerra follows Birds of Passage with an allegorical epic penned by JM Coetzee, starring Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson.

Dir Ciro Guerra
Prod Michael Fitzgerald, Olga Segura, Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi
Scr J M Coetzee
With Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson
Sales AMBI Distribution

The Magistrate (Rylance) is the amiable face of colonialism, living in peace in an unnamed frontier town of ‘the Empire’ and pottering around with archaeological artefacts. But the lie that underpins this harmony is sharply exposed when creepy Colonel Joll (Depp) rides into town and starts interrogating the locals, seeking intel about a coming insurrection. The Magistrate, disgusted by the actions of his fellow army men, begins his own personal rebellion. Following Birds of Passage (LFF 2018) and Embrace of the Serpent (LFF 2015), director Ciro Guerra continues investigating the effects of oppression on indigenous communities – this time exploring the mentality of the oppressors themselves. Mark Rylance gives a staggering performance in J M Coetzee’s adaptation of his own literary masterpiece, brought to cinematic life on a vast desert canvas.

Kate Taylor

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Ciro Guerra, director; Michael Fitzgerald, producer; Andrea Iervolino, producer; Monika Bacardi, producer; Mark Rylance, cast; Gana Bayarsaikhan, cast.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

This is a 18+ screening.