Watching Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown is a haunting and visceral experience. As one of the best crime thrillers to emerge in recent years, the film showcases the work of a brilliant first-time director who knows exactly what he’s doing. Based on Australia’s most notorious serial murders – also known as the “Bodies in Barrels” case – the film tells the story of the events leading up to and surrounding the killings in a quiet Australian town. One part desolate portrait of a community, the other a character study of a 16-year-old boy named Jamie (played by Lucas Pittway in his film debut) who falls in with John after he begins dating his mother and making himself a father figure to him and his brothers. In a bleak yet frighteningly powerful portrayal of the chilling crimes, we follow Jamie as he transitions from apathetic victim into a nightmarish world of violence. Before the film’s American premiere, we caught up with Kurzel to talk about why he wanted to tell Snowntown’s story, how he brought about such brilliant performances, and what the community had to say about his film.
Australian Filmmaker Justin Kurzel Talks About His Disturbing & Poignant ‘Snowtown’