1897 Western Australia. To escape a harsh existence and return home, a young Afghan cameleer partners with a mysterious bushman on the run with two 400oz Crown-marked gold bars.
Together the unlikely pair must outwit a zealous police sergeant and his troopers in a race to reach a secret furnace - the one place where they can safely reset the bars to remove the mark of the Crown.
THE FURNACE is an unlikely hero’s tale, navigating greed and the search for identity in a new land. The film illuminates the forgotten history of Australia’s ‘Ghan' cameleers, predominantly Muslim and Sikh men from India, Afghanistan and Persia, who opened up the Nation’s desert interior, thereby forming unique bonds with local Aboriginal people.
Australian writer Roderick MacKay’s directorial debut starring Ahmed Malek (Clash, Ext. Night), Jay Ryan (It: Chapter 2, Top of the Lake), and David Wenham (Lion, The Lord of the Rings franchise).
The film was shot on Yamatji Badimia country in Mount Magnet and Yamatji Nanda country in Kalbarri, in Western Australia’s spectacular Mid West region and includes depictions of the Badimia people in the turn of the century gold rush setting. The filmmakers conducted an extensive research process, which included consultation with the Badimia community, Sikh and Islamic consultants, in addition to Cantonese, Pashto and Punjabi language consultants.
★★★★ "MacKay's film is as tough as old leather and as unadorned as cowhide." - Guardian
"There's enough depth to the central conflict to make "The Furnace" worthy of the cinematic traditions that inspired it."- Indiewire