Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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Captivating and surprising...
Not really an allegory, despite the characters being given only labels such as The Tracker, The Fanatic, The Follower, and The Veteran, rather than names. Instead, the film shows us the relations between a group of white men and Indigenous Australians in 1922 as a sort of microcosm or potent example of the wider relations between the invaders/colonisers and the First Peoples. And although the prejudice and devaluation are explicit and brutal then, there can be no denying that prejudice and devaluation remain, perhaps institutionalised, perhaps living on in those who miss the White Australia policy. As the Tracker, David Gulpilil has the toughest role and plays it with great subtlety. We see him assisting the white men (led by Gary Sweet as the Fanatic) who are hunting an Aboriginal man who has been accused of killing a white woman - and of course, we wonder what has led The Tracker to "betray" his people (which in itself is a problematic thought, since we soon can infer that the Tracker is from a different nation). When the hunters interact with other Indigenous people, The Tracker is in the middle, perhaps feeling guilty or at least awkward. No doubt there are strong situational forces that have put him into this position. But after a brutal act (or multiple acts) by the Fanatic, The Tracker (as well as the Follower, Damon Gameau, and the Veteran, Grant Page) begins to distance themselves from him. The movie continues until the Fugitive is caught and there are a number of dramatic events en route. However, the plot itself is possibly less important to the impact of the film than other aspects: 1) the impressive landscape (always important in Aboriginal cultures); 2) the music (songs sung by Archie Roach with lyrics that comment on the characters and actions driven by almost psychedelic soulful rock); and 3) artworks (dynamic primitive paintings by Peter Coad are used to avoid presenting violence realistically) heighten the power of the film and its ability to convey its important message. If only these lessons could be learned.
I had to study this in a film class. It was very slowly paced and all of the attention is directed towards the white people when it should be focused on the Tracker. The movie was eh.
At times, it's a very funny, and at other times, it's rather fascinating at how it approaches the dynamic between the aborigine and the white man. However, the whole film seemed kind of similar to a 70's exploitation film in style. The music was really, too funky for me. A movie that wants to take itself this seriously could've done without funky music. The paintings, used to highlight as well as censor the violence that occurred during this time, vary from poignant, to downright silly. The Tracker is not a perfect film, but once you really absorb the subject matter, and the characters, and the time period, you grow to like it.
Very well made & well shot Australian film. Simple story - two police officers, a ring-in & an Aboriginal tracker are out to catch an accused murderer in the South Australian outback in the 1920's. Plenty of beautiful scenery, but the main story focuses in the main cop's (Sweet) prejudice against Aboriginals - some pretty confronting scenes. A great ending a solid acting from Gulpilil & Gameau.
Moving. Worth to see
What can be described as "experimental", is a beautiful old school epic. The dialogue may be blatant, the script;short sided and the music over powering, but for those fanboys of the genre, this one stands above the rest.
A very suspenseful and emotional piece!
Excellent movie & soundtrack set in the australian outback. Aboriginals encounter the "civilized" world.
Another extraordinary film by de Heer and performance by Gulpillul. Some great imagery and artwork use in a tale that reminds us of the despicable and murderous Australian past which is too confronting for the mainstream.