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Academy Award winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman star in the true story of Eric Lomax, a British soldier in World War II who endured gruelling conditions as a forced labourer on the Thailand Death Railway after being captured by Japanese troops.
For the first time, two of cinema's most
acclaimed and admired actors work
together in The Railway Man.
Eric Lomax (Colin Firth, also appearing
at the Festival in Devil's Knot) is a quiet,
middle-aged radio and railway enthusiast.
He meets kind, sunny Patti (Nicole
Kidman) one afternoon on a Scottish train.
The year is 1983. A whirlwind courtship
and wedding follow, but on their wedding
night, and for many nights to come, Eric
succumbs to graphic, paralyzing nightmares.
He provides Patti no explanation.
Confused and hurt by her new husband's
remoteness, Patti turns to Eric's friend
Finlay (Stellan Skarsgård), who finally
discloses her husband's harrowing secret:
along with thousands of other British
soldiers captured by the Japanese during
the Second World War, Eric was forced to
work on the construction of the Thailand-
Burma Railway — the so-called Death
Railway. When a secret radio he had built
was discovered, he was brutally tortured
by a Japanese officer. Realizing that there
is only one way to save her marriage, Patti
begins the search for the man who haunts
her husband's soul.
“ Forgiveness is the attribute of the
strong, ” wrote Mahatma Gandhi. If true then Eric Lomax, who died last year, was
akin to Hercules. Jonathan Teplitzky's
adaptation of Lomax's bestselling memoir
chronicles the stunning true story of one
man's epic journey toward forgiving those
who had done him unspeakable harm.
As Patti, Kidman exudes grace and
fortitude in every frame. As the Japanese
officer Nagase, Hiroyuki Sanada offers a
deeply affecting portrayal of a man burdened
by decades of guilt. Firth inhabits
Eric's fears, his containment, and his rage
with tremendous dexterity — he is a revelation
in this role, far from his more familiar
In a world often overcome by violence
and hatred, the redemptive power of the
story of Lomax and Nagase is a gift to us all.
- Jonathan Teplitzky
- Jonathan Teplitzky was born in
Sydney, Australia. He has directed
numerous music videos, commercials
and television series, as well as
the features Better Than Sex (00)
and Burning Man (11), both of which
screened at the Festival. His other
features include Gettin' Square (03)
and The Railway Man (13).