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The Devil's Playground

1h 39m Drama, Australia, Australian 1976
Best Film - AFI Award Winner

The story of a young boy's coming-of-age in a strict Catholic seminary in 1950's Victoria.

A semi-autobiographical retelling of the director’s own training for the priesthood, this story follows 13 year-old Tom Allen (Simon Burke), a serious and likeable boy whose calling for the church is complicated by guilt associated with his masturbation and sinful thoughts. While the ascetic Brother, Francine (Arthur Dignam), prowls the school’s corridors looking for evidence of ‘the undisciplined mind’, the hard-drinking Brother, Victor (Nick Tate), refutes the harsh discipline that scars the hearts and minds of the students, though each of them battle a desire to consummate the pleasures of the flesh.


Fred Schepisi





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