Cinema Australia Original Content:
Writer and director Davo Hardy has just wrapped his fourth feature film in as many years, following on from the success of A Silent Agreement, which has paved the way for inclusive filmmaking about disabilities in independent Australian cinema.
A Silent Agreement brought Auslan (Australian sign language) to the big screen for the first time as a major dialogue language, plot element and thematic device that inspired viewers the world over and met with substantial praise at film festivals both locally and overseas.
Davo Hardy’s latest production The Blood of God is proving that the young filmmaker is a diverse and challenge-seeking director, taking on the delicate and divisive topics of God, religion and faith and delving into how these three things are not one-and-the-same.
The distinction between faith and religion was the seed of inspiration for The Blood of God, which follows a devout Christian man, Euan Morris (played by Richard Littlehales), living in a diverse housing commission block with his widowed father. Mixing with the wrong peer group, Euan’s life quickly derails in a moment of violence, drug addiction and life-threatening illness, leading to place him squarely at the centre of a murder investigation. Turning to God for answer, Euan finds none and faces the grim prospect that perhaps his faith has been misplaced all along.
“I wanted to write characters who were fiercely religious,” says Hardy. “But I also wanted to make them as relatable as possible to people like me who are not at all religious. That was the challenge for me as a writer. To get into the head space of characters who did not necessarily share my politics or world-view, but who I still cared for and wanted to keep as dimensional and human as possible.”
It is difficult to make a contemporary Australian drama without a diverse cast and The Blood of God delivers a compelling range of characters, depicting the struggles of extremely opposite people when they are forced to live side by side. As one character asserts in her blend of Mandarin and broken English; “that load-bearing wall is the only thing between us and them!”. Such is the case with neighbours, everywhere. From the divide between properties to the divide between nations on a present-day global scale.
“In very broad terms, religion is a pre-existing doctrine, where one is told what’s what. It’s all presented as fact, wrapped in mythological stories. A faith, meanwhile, is generally set by the individual, based on their experiences and core values. One’s faith is a personal asset that we hold to in times of crisis and depend on to find reliability. Faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, faith that a streak of good luck will turn a stagnating dream into a reality.” Davo Hardy muses, recalling the process behind his latest film. “I wanted to delve into how important it is for everybody to question their beliefs, even if they remain the same afterward. Self-examination and flexibility is essential for growth and development and nature has a way of breaking that which does not bend. Writing characters in the midst of existential and theological crises was an exhausting and inspirational challenge to myself, as a writer.
I am confident that The Blood of God will be a touching and thought-provoking film.”
With release expected in July of 2019, The Blood of God promises to be yet another solid film from Davo Hardy Productions, with the same standard for nuanced characters and gripping storytelling that have made previous efforts so compelling to viewers.
You can keep up to date with The Blood of God here.