Kate Mulvany’s adaption of Craig Silvey’s novel interweaves the lives of complex individuals struggling to find happiness among the buried secrets of a rural community.
The setting is the fictional mining town of Corrigan, WA. Christmas and 1966 are fast approaching but goodwill is in short supply. The Vietnam War is heating up and the draft has Corrigan’s young blokes on edge. The mine is struggling and letting workers go.
But this is mostly background noise for the smart and sensitive 14-year-old Charlie Bucktin (played by Nicholas Langthorne), who has more pressing issues to deal with. Bullied at school, picked on by his erratic mother, and ignored by his emotionally distant schoolteacher dad, he escapes by diving into classic novels.
That is, until one night, Jasper Jones (Callan Purcell), the town’s “half-caste” tear-away and chief scapegoat, comes knocking at his window.
Seduced by the older boy’s aura of danger, Charlie follows Jasper to a bush clearing, where, lying dead at the foot of gum tree with a rope around her neck lies Corrigan’s teen beauty Laura Wishart.
Nicholas Christo directs. Beth Daley, Elliott Weston, Tonny Shim and Amy James feature.