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Van Diemen's Land

1h 44m Biography, Drama, History 2009

The true story of Australia’s most notorious convict, Alexander Pearce and his infamous escape into the beautiful yet brutal Tasmanian wilderness.

A point of no return for convicts banished from their homeland, Van Diemen’s Land was a feared and dreaded penal settlement at the end of the earth. The entrance to its remote station of secondary punishment, Macquarie Harbour, was named ‘Hell’s Gates’ by its prisoners as a reference to the gates of hell in Dante’s ‘Inferno’ - “Abandon all hope ye who enter here” - was plastered at the Harbour’s mouth as a warning to all souls sent there.

In 1822, eight convicts escaped Macquarie Harbour in a fateful bid for freedom. This band of Irish, English and Scottish thieves were immediately hurled into chaos as their plan failed and they were thrust into the heart of a harsh and foreboding landscape. With little food or equipment, in a place these immigrants knew little about, they battled a merciless enemy - the unforgiving, barren land - a land where God wields an axe.


Oscar Redding


Maggie Miles







Bonus Content

Director Interview


Clint Cure interviews Van Diemans Land director Jonathan auf der Heide on his career and the making of the movie, for his Channel 31 series “Running On Empty”.

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