Based on the memoir by Raimond Gaita, the film tells the story of Romulus (Eric Bana) and his wife Christine (Franka Potente), and their struggle in the face of great adversity to raise their son, Raimond (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Released in May 2007, the film was directed by Richard Roxburgh, produced by Robert Connolly and John Maynard, and starred Eric Bana, Franka Potente, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Marton Csokas.
Winner of Best Film at the AFI Awards 2007. Screenplay nominated for Best Screenplay. Romulus, My Father grossed $2,589,674 at the box office in Australia. The screenplay is published by Currency Press.
"The directorial debut from Australian actor Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge, Van Helsing), Romulus, My Father boasts strong performances, elegant camerawork and striking early 1960s production design… It's a tough working-class tale that grows ever more harrowing as it intensifies…. The combination of star and vivid country locations will doubtless ensure it attracts international festival attention.
"Nick Drake's sparsely powerful screenplay is mined from the 1998 memoir of philosopher Raimond Gaita, who emigrated to Australia in 1950 at the age of four with his Romanian-born father Romulus and German-born mother Christina."
"Sure to be a favourite at this year’s AFIs, Romulus, My Father is a deceptive directorial debut from actor Richard Roxburgh. Deceptive in the sense that for the first half, this adaptation of Raymond Gaita’s memoir appears to meander. There’s classy cinematography, rich period detail and fine performances, but not much in the way of story. But Roxburgh and scriptwriter Nick Drake are biding their time and putting hooks into us so that when events turn tragic – and bad things pile up in the second hour like a freeway accident – the effect is wrenching. Walking away from Romulus, My Father is to marvel that little Rai Gaita not only survived his childhood sane but went on to become one of the world’s most respected moralists and philosophers."
**** "A major achievement for our industry…a very quietly moving experience."
Margaret Pomeranz, ABC TV ‘At The Movies’, 23/05/07
**** Empire Review Central 31/05/07
**** "Its achievement is to create from its ruins a sense of the ultimate triumph of the human spirit."
Ron Banks, The West Australian, 31 May 2007
Julie Rigg, ABC Radio National, 1 June 2007
"I know I will never forget it."
Helen Garner, The Monthly magazine, May 2007
"An all pervading sense of hope in the ties that bind between father and son."
Jim Mitchell, Filmink, June 2007
"Refreshingly cinematic… breathtakingly beautiful."
Vicky Roach, Daily Telegraph, 31 May 2007
"Like the great Shakespearean tragedies…emerges as a work of melancholic beauty."
"A beacon of sensitive filmmaking."
Megan Lehmann, Hollywood Reporter, 15 May 2007
"A film that matches a distinctively European sensibility to a uniquely Australian landscape."
Miriam Cosic, The Weekend Australian, 12 May 2007