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The First Fagin

The First Fagin

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


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    Helen Gaynor, Alan Rosenthal

JIFF returns to cinemas across Australia in Feb/March 2022. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear updates on new titles, special announcements and more!