The First Fagin

, 2012

Screened at —

JIFF 2012  Q & A with Helen Gaynor and Deborah Rechter

Australian filmmakers Helen Gaynor and Alan Rosenthal meld interviews with fictionalised romance and action to produce this docudrama hybrid – an examination of curious rumour around one of Van Diemen Land’s most infamous convicts.

When Charles Dickens created the character of Fagin in Oliver Twist, he gave birth to one of English literature’s most gloriously villianous and recognisable personas. But few people realise Dickens’ portrait of Fagin was possibly based on the Jewish receiver and fencer of stolen goods, Ikey Solomon.

The First Fagin reimagines the fantastical life of Ikey Solomon – from London’s dens of vice to Newgate jail to Australia’s prison shores. Ikey takes us on a thrilling ride into crime, punishment, adventure and love while battling against the transportation system of 19th century England.

Narrated by the incomparable Miriam Margolyes, famed for her one-woman Dickens stage shows.

Based on the book The First Fagin by Judith Sackville-O'Donnell.

“... the story’s power and standout photography of historic locations in Tasmania help win the day.” Variety

 

Sydney Premiere

87 min / English

Director — Helen Gaynor, Alan Rosenthal

Cast — Alison Alexander, Brian Andrews