The second part of this two-part miniseries continues to explore the dispossession of Australia’s Indigenous population through the lens of pardoned convict Jack Thornhill and his wife Sal, who’ve settled on 100 acres along the Hawkesbury River. With some of their neighbours choosing to co-exist with the Indigenous population, and others doing the stark opposite, the script moves increasingly into dark territory, culminating in a shocking and haunting conclusion.
The script is expertly structured and the prose shines with emotional clarity. There isn’t an inch of the script that doesn’t pulse with building tension and momentum. Writers Jan Sardi and Mac Gudgeon interweave potent imagery with deeply drawn characters — their command of aesthetics and craft ensures that this story gets under your skin and grips your heart. While the story is a reflection on the price a man pays to shed himself of his past and build a future, more broadly the script puts us front and centre as a witness to Australia’s original sin. The events it depicts may have happened more than 200 years ago, but the script’s resonance is palpable.