Holy Smoke (2160x1023)
Holy Smoke © Park Circus

Presented by ACMI in association with the Sydney Film Festival & NFSA

Holy Smoke

Jane Campion | USA, Australia | 1999 | MA15+

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Tue 20 Jun 2023

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The Australian outback sets the scene for a hallucinatory battle of wills between Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel, in Campion’s stimulating, offbeat blend of spirituality and sexuality.

Returning to the darkly comic territory of Sweetie but moving the sibling dynamic offscreen (Campion co-wrote the script with her sister Anna Campion), Holy Smoke stars Keitel as a deprogrammer sent to Australia by the parents of Ruth (Winslet, sporting a pitch-perfect Aussie accent) who are alarmed that their daughter has embraced a guru’s teachings a little too devoutly on her recent trip to India. A battle of the sexes ensues in this wild and surreal film, which Campion says was inspired by her interest in "the question of how you have a spiritual life in the ’90s and in the connections of spirituality, eroticism, and love".

At once hilarious and serious, cruel and tender, and bristling with vitality, Holy Smoke is the right movie for the millennium, envisioning new possibilities in the way people view and relate to one another.

Kevin Thomas (The Los Angeles Times)

Format: 35mm
Language: English
Source: National Film & Sound Archive
Courtesy: Park Circus
Runtime: 121 mins

Event duration

115 mins



Viewers under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Contains medium-level sex scene and adult themes.


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