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Set in the 1890s gold rush of Western Australia, THE FURNACE is an unlikely hero’s tale, navigating greed and the search for identity in a new land. This film illuminates the forgotten history of Australia’s ‘Ghan’ cameleers – predominantly Muslim and Sikh men from India, Afghanistan, and Persia – who traversed the nation’s vast desert interior, forming unique bonds with local Aboriginal people.
To escape a harsh existence and return home, a young Afghan cameleer (Ahmed Malek, Clash) partners with a mysterious bushman on the run with two 400oz Crown-marked gold bars (David Wenham, Dirt Music). Together the unlikely pair must outwit a zealous police sergeant (Jay Ryan, IT Chapter Two) and his troopers in a race to reach a secret furnace – the one place where they can safely reset the bars to remove the mark of the Crown.
Timothy White and Tenille Kennedy