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Making a movie about the Port Arthur massacre

When Nitram, the new film about the perpetrator of the Port Arthur massacre - the worst single-shooter mass killing in Australian history - was announced there was swift backlash from politicians and film critics who argued that the story was too painful

When Nitram, the new film about the perpetrator of the Port Arthur massacre - the worst single-shooter mass killing in Australian history - was announced there was swift backlash from politicians and film critics who argued that the story was too painful and traumatic to tell. 

On today’s episode of The Culture, we’re joined by writer and journalist Mahmood Fazal to dissect the film, and explore the bigger questions it raises about how to tell stories about trauma and violence.

Plus, we speak to the director of the film, Justin Kurzel and the film’s writer, Shaun Grant.

 

Guest: Justin Kurzel, director of Nitram; Shaun Grant, writer of Nitram; Mahmood Fazal, writer, journalist and contributor The Saturday Paper and The Monthly

Show Transcript

From the front page

Image of former industry minister Christian Porter in the House of Representatives, August 24, 2021. Image © Mick Tsikas / AAP Image

Protecting Porter

Why does the government keep doing this?

Cover image for Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’

Hell’s kitchen: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’

The ‘My Struggle’ author’s first novel in 17 years considers the mundanity of everyday acts amid apocalyptic events

Image of ‘Bewilderment’

‘Bewilderment’ by Richard Powers

The Pulitzer winner’s open-hearted reworking of Flowers for Algernon, updated for modern times

Image of ‘Scary Monsters’

‘Scary Monsters’ by Michelle de Kretser

Two satirical stories about fitting in, from the two-time Miles Franklin–winner


Read on

Cover image for Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’

Hell’s kitchen: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘The Morning Star’

The ‘My Struggle’ author’s first novel in 17 years considers the mundanity of everyday acts amid apocalyptic events

Image of Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy in HBO’s Succession season 3. Photograph by David Russell/HBO

Ties that bind: ‘Succession’ season three

Jeremy Strong’s performance in the HBO drama’s third season is masterful

Image of a tampon and a sanitary pad viewed from above

A bloody shame: Paid period leave should be law

Australia’s workplace laws must better accommodate the reproductive body

Image of Gladys Berejiklian appearing before an ICAC hearing in October 2020. Image via ABC News

The cult of Gladys Berejiklian

What explains the hero-worship of the former NSW premier?