Australian Story: Luke Davies

DURATION: 1 x 52'

Australian Story: Luke Davies



As a small boy growing up in Sydney, Luke Davies was obsessed with America. He read voraciously, devouring magazine articles about American culture and American football. As a teenager, he read John Steinbeck and listened to the music of Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and John Cale. But in his late teens and early twenties, he became lost in an addiction to heroin. Only after emerging from nearly a decade of drug use, did he find his true calling, as a poet, novelist and screenwriter.

Luke first came to prominence twenty years ago with his vivid, poetic and largely autobiographical novel 'Candy', which he later helped to adapt into a celebrated film starring Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish. After fulfilling his childhood ambition of moving to America, he struggled to make his mark in Hollywood. But gradually the job offers came in, culminating in the hugely popular movie Lion, for which Luke received an Oscar nomination this year for best adapted screenplay.

This 52-minute documentary includes moving and at times confronting interviews with Luke Davies himself, as well as Lion star Dev Patel, its director Garth Davis and Oscar-winning producer Emile Sherman, and close friends and industry colleagues, including Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver and acclaimed Australian director David Michôd. Together they tell a remarkable story of redemption, about a man whose vision of the world and his own place in it is suffused with poetry, but who achieved success only after emerging from the depths of addiction and despair.

This ABC film includes exclusive excerpts from a previously unseen behind-the-scenes documentary filmed on the set of Candy, featuring Luke Davies, Abbie Cornish and the late Heath Ledger.


Australian Broadcasting Corporation