Nyt Book Review The Nightingale
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Nyt Book Review The Nightingale
Franciosi plays Claire, a young Irish convict in 1825 colonial-era Australia, when British troops are in the process of putting down rebellions, subduing the locals, perpetuating a genocide on the Aboriginal population. Claire is imprisoned by Lieutenant Hawkins (Sam Claflin), who refuses to release her from bondage (it's three years overdue). Hawkins forces her to sing for his soldiers, she's known as "the nightingale." Hawkins parades her out in front of his heckling ogling men. Within the first 10 minutes of the film, Hawkins brutally rapes Claire. Kent shows a sensitivity to the issues with such scenes: so often rape is sexualized in film, so often the violence is eroticized, the trauma doesn't translate. Kent has thought deeply about how to portray Claire's brutalization (there's one shot of the cross-thatched ceiling which is particularly effective).
Eventually, Hawkins and two of his goons commit an unpardonable and horrifying act (one of many throughout "The Nightingale") and Claire, hellbent on revenge, chases after them on their journey overland to a nearby town. For this she needs a guide through the inhospitable wilderness, and she hires Billy (Ganambarr), who needs the money and hates white people (they've killed his whole family). He has no patience with her whimsies or her racism, but warms to her a little bit when she tells him she's Irish: she hates the English as much as he does. The transformation of their relationship from adversaries to allies is the real trajectory of the film, although, as I mentioned, there's a plodding same-ness to these scenes, a circular quality. Both Franciosi and Ganambarr are amazing, but Ganambarr is especially, considering this is his first credit! Billy revealing that his nickname is "the blackbird," like hers is "the nightingale," and that he, too, sings. This is an example of the rigid handling of potential metaphors. Everything stays on the surface. Maybe that's deliberate, but it's tough going at almost two and a half hours.
I read this book of winter nights and northern forests at the turn of the year; snow swirled, ice glazed the trees and bent bare branches low. I'm writing the review now in the kind of unseasonable thaw that makes one want to grab climate change denial by the ear and rub its face in the slush. But I'm only the more grateful for The Bear and the Nightingale in consequence: I love winter with all my December-born Canadian heart, and I love stories that make me feel the full mythic majesty of it even when the weather's wounded and limping into spring.
The Nightingale is a historical fiction novel by American author Kristin Hannah published by St. Martin's Press in 2015. The book tells the story of two sisters in France during World War II and their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France. The book was inspired by the story of a Belgian woman, Andrée de Jongh, who helped downed Allied pilots escape Nazi territory.
The book uses the frame story literary device; the frame is presented in first-person narration as the remembrances of an elderly woman in 1995, whose name is initially not revealed to the reader. It is only known that she has a son named Julien and that she lives off the coast of Oregon. However, the main action of the book is told in third-person, following two sisters, Vianne Mauriac and Isabelle Rossignol, who live in France around 1939, on the eve of World War II. The two sisters are estranged from each other and their father, and the book follows the two different paths they take.
The book concludes with the elderly narrator, revealed to be Vianne, receiving an invitation to an event in Paris to remember her sister, "The Nightingale". She travels with her son Julien, who is unaware of his family's activities during the war and his true parentage. After the event, Vianne reunites with Ari, and she comes to peace with her memories of the war.
The story of De Jongh also inspir