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With its harrowingly beautiful depiction of the Australian Outback and spare narrative of culture clash, Walkabout is a peculiar survival epic. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Under the pretense of having a picnic, a geologist (John Meillon) takes his teenage daughter (Jenny Agutter) and 6-year-old son (Lucien John) into the Australian outback and attempts to shoot them. When he fails, he turns the gun on himself, and the two city-bred children must contend with harsh wilderness alone. They are saved by a chance encounter with an Aborigine boy (David Gulpilil) who shows them how to survive, and in the process underscores the disharmony between nature and modern life.

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Critic Reviews for Walkabout

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for Walkabout

  • Apr 12, 2016
    A walkabout is a ritual in Aboriginal culture where a boy between the ages of 10 to 16 lives off the land alone for up to six months. This explains how the Aborigine boy comes to find the White girl and boy, as these characters do not have names. How the two English siblings ended up in the harsh wilderness of the Australian Outback alone are displayed but why their father experiences a mental breakdown and tries to shoot his son with a gun is unexplained. The Aborigine then leads the two around the Outback, the girl presumes back to "civilization" but the Aborigine seems to enjoy their company too much to return them. In a very unique way, the English boy and girl are on their own walkabout, thrown into the unforgiving terrain of the desert and left to fend for themselves. This is basically the story to Nicholas Roeg's 1971 film "Walkabout." The Aborigine boy is portrayed by David Gulpilli and at the time of filming the film could not speak English. He lives in a different culture and world where he is percieved as a man. He lives off the fruits, animals and finds water in the land. The White girl is portrayed by Jenny Agutter and the White Boy is portrayed by Roeg's son Luc Roeg. After their father sets their car on fire and then shoots himself, the girl takes it upon herself to lead her and the boy for help. They're trapped in the desert and have no survival skills whatsoever. Luckily the Aborigine knows what to do and he shares his food and water with the two. This is a contrast story of two very different cultures and Roeg edits scenes in a way to compare and contrast different ideas and cultures. The Aborigine and the girl have complicated feelings for one another. The girl on the one hand wants to return home, but on the other she doesn't seem to truly trust him or understand his ways. Her younger brother is able to communicate with him through sign language and other means. The Aborigine starts to develop sexual feelings for the girl and he hopes to fornicate and perhaps that's why he never truly leads them to help. Nicholas Roeg was both cinematographer and director for the film. The film has beautiful compositions and beautiful landscapes full of animals from the Outback.
    Joseph B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2012
    Strong, magical and beautiful, Nicolas Roeg's friendly tale show a great meeting between urban life and natural world.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2011
    A beautifully photographed film with the backdrop of the Australian outback.
    Graham J Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2011
    Immaculate perfection is rarely seen on celluloid, and even less often seen with allegorical representations of mankind's return to the Eden from which we were cast out. People refer to Roeg's extreme realism and depictions of humanism when, in fact, his sublime cinematographic skills emphasized something deeper. The characters' reactions are not natural and the first events slightly scratch the realm of the bizarre. For what purpose, you ask? Let's say that, just like Hume, Hegel and others, Roeg has hope in human's good nature, and he briefly invites us to return to that Paradise where things may actually work out better than in the asphixiating modern civilization. 100/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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