The disturbing true story of a young man who, in 1996, went on a killing spree in the Tasmanian town of Port Arthur.
Nick Batzias, Virginia Whitwell, Justin Kurzel, Shaun Grant
Caleb Landry Jones, Judy Davis, Anthony LaPaglia
Australia 2020. 112min
The depiction of mass murder is a thorny topic that Justin Kurzel confronts head-on in Nitram, a lightly fictionalised but resolutely unsensational account of the real-life events that saw a 28-year-old Tasmanian shoot 35 people dead and injure 23 more. Caleb Landry Jones takes the title role, a boy nicknamed ‘Nitram’ because his real name is Martin and the community thinks he’s ‘backward’. He’s a selfish, violent young man whom his parents love but can’t control and who, somehow, ends up with a deranged lottery heiress. Nothing about his life is normal, but red flags about his erratic behaviour go unheeded. Could he have been stopped? Nitram always appeared profoundly troubled, but Australia’s lax gun laws made him a murderer.
Contains scenes viewers may find distressing.
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