True History of the Kelly Gang + Q&A MA 15+

A young man covered in ash and blood standing in front of a house on fire at night time
26 November
Arc Cinema
$24 / $19
Dir: Justin Kurzel, MA 15+, Australia, United Kingdom, 2019, 124mins, DCP,

Inspired by Peter Carey’s Man Booker prize-winning novel of the same name, True History of the Kelly Gang is an epic, fictionalised retelling of the life of legendary Australian bushranger Ned Kelly. Lauded by critics and winner of 3 AACTA Awards, the film shatters the mythology of the notorious icon to reveal the essence behind his life, and forces a country to stare back into the ashes of its brutal past.

Written for the screen by Shaun Grant (Snowtown) and directed by the award-winning Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Nitram), it stars a spectacular cast of Australian and international stars including BAFTA-winner George MacKay as Ned Kelly, Oscar-winner Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, Essie Davis, Claudia Karvan, Charlie Hunnam and the late Uncle Jack Charles.

True History of the Kelly Gang is a tour-de-force of epic filmmaking: a dream, or nightmare, about Ned, his family, Australia, manhood, womanhood, and how hard it is for poor people to escape the class they were born into.

This title is held in the NFSA collection.

‘Ned Kelly gets a ripping reinvention in director Justin Kurzel's feverish punk Western, a raw rebel yell of a movie that combines visceral violence with a kind of delirious, scrappy poetry’ – The Hollywood Reporter

‘This is myth-making, splattered in blood, scored with an electric guitar, and enacted with such brazen bigness that you wouldn't be surprised if the cast assembled for a curtain call at the end’ –

Arrive early to visit our Australians & Hollywood exhibition, which features True History of the Kelly Gang, and hear from one of our curators about the film and exhibition.

Following the screening, photographer Matthew Thorne will join us in Arc for a Q&A session and director Justin Kurzel will participate via Zoom.


Logo for the Canberra Museum and Gallery





Presented in partnership with Canberra Museum + Gallery, currently showing Matthew Thorne: Jingo was born in the Slum.

Logo for an exhibition at CMAG by Matthew Thorne

The exhibition features photographs and costumes from Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang, alongside Sidney Nolan’s iconic Ned Kelly paintings that influenced the film.

In 2019, True History of the Kelly Gang introduced a new generation to the conflicted legend of Ned Kelly who has long featured in the Australian psyche as symbol of anti-authoritarian defiance, fraught masculine identity and colonial trespass.

Adelaide-born artist and filmmaker Matthew Thorne was invited by Kurzel to be present during the filming in Victoria, creating a parallel body of work that is part behind-the-scenes documentary and part exploration of the Kelly myth.

The exhibition also includes Alice Babidge’s award-winning costumes from the film, on loan from the NFSA, as well as iconic paintings from the Commonwealth Sidney Nolan collection of which CMAG is the custodian.

Exhibition open now at CMAG until 4 March 2023.



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