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Hypnotic thriller that haunted a nation inspires remakes for a new generation

Half a century after novel depicted tragedy at Hanging Rock, updated film and theatre versions shed new light

In the searing heat of an Australian Valentine’s Day, a small party of schoolgirls set out for a local beauty spot, Hanging Rock. Some were never to return. The shocking incident, whether imagined or real, as some still believe, has haunted the national psyche ever since the publication of Joan Lindsay’s novel Picnic at Hanging Rock in 1967.

Regarded as a key work of modern Australian literature, Lindsay’s hypnotic puzzle soon spawned a classic film version that was to beguile and disturb audiences around the world.

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