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.

See also...


Technology is breaking down. Is it just a temporary disturbance caused by unusual solar activity? A man struggles to come to terms with his fear and anxiety. A medium length narrative filled with cata... More »


A woman, two men and a suitcase of money - a lot can happen in the middle of nowhere. ... Pulsing with menace, writer-director Craig Lahiff's Swerve reorients the noir tradition, setting it within the... More »


A woman bakes a cake with a gun inside, and then searches frantically for some place to take it. Two teenagers roam across a barren moonscape, which turns out to be a suburban highway in the making. S... More »


One woman – played by an award-winning Deborra-lee Furness – turns the tables on a country town's system of entrenched male violence in this rip-roaring Australian action flick. ... Asta, a hard-edged... More »


Thank God He Met Lizzie has a universal theme, yet is unlike any other Australian film. Guy is in his early thirties and looking for that elusive beast - the perfect life partner. The trouble is that ... More »


Chris Kennedy juggles comedy, drama and sentiment with aplomb in his third feature; Ralph, a sweet natured, and exceptionally naive young man from the bush is determined to make his mark on the Nashvi... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director