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1h 23m Feature, Drama 1998

Sparks fly when three sisters reunite to mark the passing of their mother among the sugar cane plantations of far North Queensland.

Successful opera singer Cressy (Rachael Maza) clashes with her youngest sibling Nona (an irrepressible Deborah Mailman), who is desperate to find connection with Cressy and Mae (a laconic Trisha Morton-Thomas). A storm is brewing in this wild corner of Australia, and some harsh truths float to the surface before their mother’s ashes are given the appropriate send-off.

Radiance marked Rachel Perkins debut as a film director. Reminiscent of Mark Joffe’s Cosi, Radiance was based on another of Louis Nowra’s plays and would go on to win a series of major awards including Best Actress for Deborah Mailman (AFI AACTA Awards, 1998) and Best Feature Film at the 1998 Sydney Film Festival and the 1999 Creteil Film Des Femmes Festival. Radiance is beautifully shot by Warwick Thornton (Sweet Country, Samson & Delilah, We Don’t Need A Map).

“We spent a long time on the casting process to make sure we selected three women who would not only perform well, but perform well together. That was very important because this is very much an ensemble piece and they needed to relate well together. Rachael, Deborah and Trisha were just wonderful. I found the quality of their performances very exhilarating and very moving.” – Rachel Perkins

Proudly presented in association with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s digital restoration program, NFSA Restores: reviving our cinema icons.


Rachel Perkins







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