HEAVEN'S BURNING

Australia, 1996 (MIFF 1997, Australian)

Director: Craig Lahiff

A high-energy road movie that keeps career­ing off in unexpected directions. Heaven's Burning is the most ambitious film yet by Ade­laide-based director, Craig Lahiff. Working for the first time with a generous budget, Lahiff struts his stuff with vigour aided by a Louis Nowra screenplay that makes a point of keeping the audience off-balance.

Honeymooning Japanese bride Midori disap­pears from her Sydney hotel suite. In actuality she has staged a fake kidnap in order to ditch her new husband, hide out in Australia and await the arrival of her lover from Japan. While chang­ing money in a metro bank Midori really is kid­napped, taken hostage by an Afghani Moslem armed hold-up gang. When events go from bad to worse, Midori finds herself on the lam with wheel-man Colin (Russell Crowe).

Youki Kudoh, known to audiences from Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train splendidly transforms from an uptight executive to a wild, dangerous and thoroughly resourceful fugitive. With spirited performances from a first rate cast, tension, an accelerated pace and action aplenty, Heaven's Burning has immense appeal even for the most hardened genre buff.


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