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The period feature follows Clare, played by Game of Thrones actor Aisling Franciosi, a 21-year-old Irish convict in 1820s Tasmania, who, having served her seven-year sentence, is desperate to be free of her abusive master, Lieutenant Hawkins (Sam Claflin), who refuses to release her from his charge. Clare’s husband, Aidan, retaliates and she becomes the victim of a harrowing crime at the hands of the lieutenant and his cronies.
Unable to secure justice from the British authorities, Clare decides to pursue Hawkins, who leaves his post suddenly to secure a captaincy up north. She is forced to enlist the help of a young Aboriginal tracker, Billy (newcomer Baykali Ganambarr), who grudgingly guides her through the rugged wilderness to track down Hawkins.
The Nightingale premiered at the Venice Film Festival and had its North American debut at this year’s Sundance.
Also opening on Aug. 2 will be the Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, as well as Paramount’s Dora the Explorer live-action movie.