Director Craig Monahan’s first feature film in a decade reunites him with Hugo Weaving (Interview, SIFF 2000) for this moving tale of hope and redemption. Monahan and co-writer Alison Nisselle took inspiration from a true story for their account of a closed-off prisoner finding new purpose by tending to injured birds of prey.
Toward the end of his 16-year murder sentence, prison authorities move Iran-born Victor Khadem (Don Hany) to Won Wron, a low-security prison farm north of Melbourne. Drifting unhappily through his days, his life changes when senior officer Matt Perry (Weaving) encourages him to take part in an experiment at Healesville Sanctuary in which inmates nurse raptors, such as falcons and owls, back to health. Perry believes that Victor has what it takes to tame Yasmine, an imposing wedge-tailed eagle, but a combustible mix of inmates and officers with issues of their own threatens to scupper the plan. In the process, a friendship forms that could prove as beneficial to Perry as to Victor, who has more in common with his charge than first meets the eye.