The Nightingale is a meditation on the consequences of violence and the price of seeking vengeance. Set during the colonization of Australia in 1825, the film follows Clare (Aisling Franciosi), a 21-year-old Irish convict. Having served her 7-year sentence, she is desperate to be free of her abusive master, (Sam Claflin) who instead makes her the victim of a harrowing crime. When British authorities fail to deliver justice, Clare enlists the help of a young Aboriginal tracker Billy (Baykali Ganambarr) who grudgingly takes her through the rugged wilderness to track down her master. Clare and Billy are hostile towards each other from the outset, both suffering their own traumas and mutual distrust, but as their journey leads them deeper into the wilderness, they must learn to find empathy for one another, while weighing the true cost of revenge.