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Under the surface of every life lies a mystery.

Very occasionally, a movie comes along that’s so good you want to tell everyone you know to go and see it. Jindabyne is such a film, a completely brilliant drama you just can’t take your eyes off. Certainly the best Australian movie since Walkabout, it sticks in the memory like glue. Based on a short story by Raymond Carver, the plot is simple. Four male pals head into the outback for a weekend of fishing. While casting off, one of them discovers the body of a dead Aborigine girl floating in the river. But rather than going straight to the police, they tie her leg to a branch and continue their weekend, not reporting it until the next day. When they do, all hell breaks loose in their home town of Jindabyne, with the girl’s relatives and the men’s wives and girlfriends shocked by their callousness. For their part, the blokes can’t see what all the fuss is about – after all, the girl was already dead. It’s a movie that isn’t afraid to take its time but, however slowly the plot unfolds, it builds up one heck of a head of steam, reeling you in until you can barely take your eyes off the screen. And for once, here’s a film that doesn’t fumble the payoff. Starring Gabriel Byrne and Laura Linney, and directed by Ray Lawrence (Lantana), Jindabyne is part thriller – with the girl’s killer lurking in the background – part character study and part examination of the white man’s tense relationship with the land. Add to that some stunning images of the outback and you’ve got a mature, intelligent movie you’ll want to see again and again. David Edwards, London Daily Mirror

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Directed by: 
Ray Lawrence
Running Time: 
Gabriel Byrne, Laura Linney, Chris Haywood, Deborra-Lee Furness, John Howard
Screenplay by: 
Beatrix Christian, based on the short story <i>So Much Water So Close to Home</i> by Raymond Carver

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