Justin Kurzel has had a strange trajectory in the world of cinema, starting out with acclaimed projects like the 2011 film Snowtown but faltering later because of his attempt to conduct a competent video game film adaptation. He did so by taking on the daunting task of making an Assassin’s Creed film which backfired and got a negative reception from fans of the game.
Kurzel bounced back again in 2021 with a brilliant psychological drama which was definitely one of the best films of the year. Titled Nitram, the film documents the story of a mentally disturbed young man who struggles with his demons which eventually leads him to commit unspeakable actions and destroys his life and the lives of many forever.
The film is actually based on the true story of Martin Bryant, the mass shooter who killed 35 and injured more than 20 people and was responsible for the infamous 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania. Due to the controversial subject of the film, Nitram received backlash when it was screened in Tasmania and was condemned for its subject.
“I’m not Tasmanian but I’m living here as my wife is Tasmanian and it feels like this is a place that I want to spend the rest of my life,” Kurzel said. “So, I obviously felt extremely nervous about making the film and the last thing I want to do, was to (reignite) the still ongoing trauma, in a place that I love so much. That responsibility weighed heavily.”
Kurzel has now set his sights on a brand new project which is reported to be a sci-fi thriller called Morning. Starring the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Laura Dern among others, Morning envisions a future where technological advancements have eliminated the need for sleep which also poses the philosophical problem of giving up on dreams.