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Three sisters reunite for their mother's funeral and confront surprising secrets and buried truths in the first fiction feature by Rachel Perkins, which established her as a leading figure in the emerging Indigenous New Wave.
After many years apart, three sisters reunite to attend their mother's funeral. The eldest, Cressy (Rachael Maza), is an opera singer, who is reluctant to revisit her family past; Mae (Trisha Morton-Thomas), the second child, has spent the last few years caring for their dying mother; while Nona (Deborah Mailman), the youngest, is a party girl who is anxiously awaiting the results of a pregnancy test. As the women spend a day together somewhat reluctantly reminiscing, surprising secrets and buried truths emerge. Adapted from his own play by Louis Nowra and stunningly shot by Warwick Thornton (who would later direct Samson and Delilah), Radiance was the first fiction feature from director Rachel Perkins — who, like so many First Peoples filmmakers, began in the documentary field — and became an international festival hit, establishing Perkins as a leading figure in the emerging Indigenous New Wave.