Celebrated Australian theatre director Benedict Andrews makes his film debut with this auspicious, emotionally powerful feature.
Una stars Oscar-nominee Rooney Mara and Emmy-winner Ben Mendelsohn, and is based on David Harrower's play Blackbird. Cate Blanchett directed the stage version at Sydney Theatre Company in 2007. It starts when Una (Mara) tracks down Ray (Mendelsohn) at his place of work. Fifteen years earlier, when Una was a minor, Ray sexually abused her – a crime he was arrested and imprisoned for. Una's arrival threatens to destroy Ray's new life which he's desperate to preserve. Is Una there for revenge, or is there some more surprising motivation at play? In this intense emotional drama, the effect of the past has led to tragic circumstances, and two severely damaged people are left in a fiery standoff. Mara (who also appears at SFF this year in A Ghost Story and Song to Song) and Mendelsohn (who can be seen in a restored version of The Year My Voice Broke at SFF) both deliver extraordinary, nuanced and extremely brave performances. Daringly taking on taboos, Andrews handles this sensitive material with precision. Una is a film that will stay with you for a long time.
Festival guest: Ben Mendelsohn
BENEDICT ANDREWS is a film and theatre director from Adelaide. He has directed numerous productions for Sydney Theatre Company, as well as at the Young Vic and the Barbican. He brings a touch of the theatre to his film debut with Una (2016), an adaptation of the Broadway play Blackbird by David Harrower. The film screened at film festivals in Toronto and London.
Talk: After the Saturday 10 June screening of Una, is an In Conversation with Ben Mendelsohn in the Festival Hub, starting at 2.00 pm