The Castle

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


In 1997, a riotous little comedy shot on Super 16 mm in only eleven days crept out of nowhere and took the Australian film industry by storm. Breaking box-office records, The Castle captured the heart of a nation with its neighborly charm, old-fashioned earnestness, and self-deprecating wit. Sundance takes great pleasure in hosting the international coming-out party of this irrepressible gem of a movie. Working-class tow-truck driver and father of four Darryl Kerrigan’s only distinguishing feature is his beaming reverence for his home and family. To other parents, his kids might seem consummate underachievers. For other property owners, a fixer-upper abutting a major international airport might appear little more than an eyesore. But not for Darryl, whose home is his castle and whose family is his pride and joy. So when government officials demand that the

Kerrigans sell their house to make room for airport expansion, Darryl digs in his heels, sharpens his pen, and nudges his case all the way to the Supreme Court. And through his tenacity, a very unexceptional man propels himself to the ranks of other “little battlers” who have deigned to buck the system. Based on a terrific screenplay by an award-winning comedy team (Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, Santo Cilauro, and Rob Sitch), The Castle is ripe with Capraesque sentiment and soaring optimism. Warm, witty, and shockingly sweet, Rob Sitch’s first film is a sublime suburban parable of the extraordinariness of the ordinary.

Rob Sitch, Director
Rob Sitch, together with writers/directors/producers Santo Cilauro, TomGleisner, and Jane Kennedy, and executive producer Michael Hirsh, comprise the production company known as Working Dog Pty. Ltd. Over the past ten years, they have produced award-winning radio and television programs, including “Frontline” and “ A River Somewhere.” The Castle is their first feature film.

— Rebecca Yeldham

Screening Details

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