Movie InfoExperimental director Rolf DeHeer's film The Tracker depicts a controversial moment in the Australian justice system, in doing so taking on a popular topic among Australian filmmakers--the complicated and too often racist relationship between Aboriginals and locals. When an Aboriginal tracker (David Gulpilil) leads the manhunt for a fugitive native, a series of atrocities are performed on the ancient tribe by a sadistic policeman participating in the search party. The line between savage and civilian is blurred beyond recognition when Fanatic (Gary Sweet), the policeman, massacres a large group of peaceful Aboriginals. It eventually becomes clear that the tracker, who purposely keeps the Aboriginal a half-day ahead of the search party, is in control of the operation and has his own mysterious agenda. DeHeer takes a unique approach in the direction of this film; opting to show graphic paintings by artist Peter Coad during violent moments in lieu of filming bloody scenes among the actors. The drama itself is often contradicted by haunting, plaintive songs with lyrics written by DeHeer himself. … More
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Critic Reviews for Tracker
A high-minded film that at times verges on didacticism, The Tracker is redeemed by its adherence to a simple yet distinctive approach to storytelling and its uniformly strong acting.
An imposing film that tackles a serious theme with dignity and even audacity and that features production values of the highest quality.
See the film mainly for the quiet and powerful work of Gulpilil in the title role.
As the scorned but ever-resourceful guide, Gulpilil has the richest role and makes the most of it.
The Tracker is one of those rare films that deserves to be called haunting.
[T]he film emphasizes its fable qualities and sets the stage for its moral structure, which hinges on the merging of power and racism and the possibility of resistance.
[D]rags you across acres of despair, a harsh landscape of the angry, terrified side of human nature...
De Heer doesn't want the violence to distract from the sadness and the substance of the movie's mythic history lesson. It's an inventive idea, one that probably doomed the movie's commercial prospects here in the States.
The Tracker is the first significant movie to find its way into American theaters in 2005.
Specially composed songs makes the study of men driven by primitive cruelty and ruthless justice something of a tone poem.
Combines a classic movie-Western setting and narrative with a Heart of Darkness-like morality play.
Interspersed with moments of great suspense, the tragic cat-and-mouse survival adventure overshadows the heavy-handed didacticism.
Too often, The Tracker explains when it would be better to suggest.
Has the same cinematic grandeur that people admire about John Ford's classic 'The Searchers' without that film's racist reflexes. It's mythmaking of a much higher caliber.
Audience Reviews for Tracker
Tracker is a haunting, and engrossing film that showcases the beautiful talent of David Gulpilil in the title role, and uses music to help tell the story, but it may prove to be overused by some.More
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