A story of class, race, colonisation and one family’s violent destiny, played out against the searing backdrop of 1880s Australia.
Iconic Australian musician Nick Cave not only wrote the screenplay for The Proposition but also composed the film's revisionist soundtrack (with Warren Ellis).
The electrified score, which at times references the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone, contains moments of violence and intense silence and sadness.
Cave also adapts and manipulates traditional colonial songs such as 'Rule Britannia' to comment on settler conflict and race relations.
Another unique feature of the film's soundtrack is its lyrical poetry, not only adding to the film's dark gothic style but also providing insight into the psychological state of mind of the film's central character, Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce).
'A visionary tale of a fragile civilising impulse crushed by family loyalty and a lust for revenge in the vast Outback of the late 19th century' – Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
'The colonial Australia depicted in The Proposition is not one that poses opportunity, prosperity and happiness – it is an environment in which one simply has to survive; significantly, this idea manifests through aural means – through a soundtrack that was conceived well before the film script itself' – Johnny Milner, Media International Australia
See more films in our Settling the Score program.