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The Water Diviner

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Four years after the battle at Gallipoli, the fallout continues for Australian farmer Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) and his wife Lizzie (Jacqueline McKenzie), who remain disturbed by the trauma of not knowing the whereabouts of their three sons.

Directed by Crowe, and written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios, The Water Diviner is inspired by true events, telling a dramatic tale of a man’s quest to fulfil his promise to find his boys and return them home.

Connor travels to Turkey, where he is met with hostility and suspicion by governing bodies who are in charge of the massacre site and bound to keep trespassers out of harm’s way from landmines and the debris of war as they continue to identify the ghosts on the battlefield and put the past to rest.

Meticulous cinematography in the masterful hands of Andrew Lesnie (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings) helps highlight the profound cost of the war. Flashbacks to battle scenes depict young soldiers in the trenches, suffering harrowing uncertainty and graphic brutality.

A haunting original music score by composer David Hirschfelder (The Railway Man, Shine) complements the action and provides an emotive backdrop.

Twenty-five years of leading roles on the other side of the camera has given Crowe an exceptional vantage point for his directorial debut. His approach to film-making highlights a patriotic vision and delivers a palpable sense of humanity which is brought to life on the big screen.

Crowe highlights the futility of war, with statistics of the losses on both sides giving a sobering edge to the story. So, too, does the subsequent suffering of the families of the 37,000 soldiers wounded or killed in the battle of Gallipoli.

With its official opening on Boxing Day, The Water Diviner is assured broad audience appeal and has already been nominated for eight Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts awards (AACTA), including Best Film, Lead Actor (Crowe), Supporting Actress (McKenzie), Original Screenplay, Costume and Design Production.

In addition to Crowe, other familiar faces among the Australian cast include Jai Courtney (Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Hughes), Isabel Lucas (Natalia), Dan Wylie (Captain Charles Brinley), Ryan Corr (Arthur), Megan Gale (Fatma) and Damon Herriman (Father McIntyre).

An impressive take on an important chapter in Australian history.

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