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.
And with the assistance of a young Aboriginal boy in the middle of his "walkabout" -- the siblings journey through adversity and mystery toward their own adulthood.
Along the way cultural differences cause confusion and alarm. It is a film about survival thanks to human kindness. But more than anything it is a startling view of how racism and cultural differences are so engrained, no amount of human kindness can make them go away.
A beautiful and tragic experimental film about both the strengths and flaws of the human condition.
harsh landscape unable to communicate with each other, The boy helps them survive and falls for the English girl. A film full of symbolism and messages about colonialism and communication. The tragic ending is heartbreaking. Starring the beautiful and enigmatic Jenny Agutter in an amazingly frank performance. Unforgettably haunting.
That's pretty much what this movie is. Starts randomly, continues randomly, ends randomly. The start was so implausible - clearly just a plot device to get the kids lost in the desert - that you have forewarning that this is not going to be a great movie.
From then it's just random occurrences, some of which never get linked to the main plot. (Eg I still haven't figured out what the horny scientists and their balloons had to do with anything).
I could have liked this even if it turned out to be what I suspected it was going to be: am overly politically correct essay on the clash of cultures between whites and native Australians. But, while it shaped up to be that one stage, that theme pretty quickly disappeared. However, we did have the director's massive overuse of jarring match cuts just to keep remind you about it, without progressing the discussion or actually saying anything constructive about it.
Similarly, the director had a secondary urban vs rural sub-theme going through the movie, all through jerky back-and-forth match cuts. Yeah, yeah, we get it, and got it early, so no need to keep reminding us: city bad, country good, whites bad, natives good.
Nope, the main plot is pretty much a random one. Kids stranded in desert, wander around, random things occur, meet native boy, wander around, random things occur.
The film is noted for its cinematography and is interspersed with numerous images of Australian plant and animal life, along with its varied landscapes. The director often uses those images to emphasise events in the plot and set the emotional tone, most notably during the violent scene involving the rifle hunters.[original research?]Though many of the events are improbable in a natural setting-in one scene a wombat wanders past the sleeping children in the middle of a desert-they create a backdrop of a populous, varied environment. In Walkabout, an analysis of the film, author Louis Nowra wrote:
"...I was stunned. The images of the Outback were of an almost hallucinogenic intensity. Instead of the desert and bush being infused with a dull monotony, everything seemed acute, shrill, and incandescent. The Outback was beautiful and haunting."
Film critic Edward Guthmann also notes the strong use of exotic natural images, calling them a "chorus of lizards".
Critic Roger Ebert called it "one of the great films." He writes that it contains little moral or emotional judgment of its characters, and ultimately is a portrait of isolation in proximity:
"Is it a parable about noble savages and the crushed spirits of city dwellers? That's what the film's surface suggests, but I think it's about something deeper and more elusive: the mystery of communication."
Commenting on the film's enduring appeal, in 1998 Roeg described the film as:
"...a simple story about life and being alive, not covered with sophistry but addressing the most basic human themes; birth, death, mutability."
At the online review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a score of 93% based on 27 critical submissions, with an average rating of 8.2 out of 10 (showing however, as of 31 January 2013, "no consensus", on the site's Tomatometer.)
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Walkabout fared poorly at the box office in Australia. Critics debated whether it could be considered an Australian film, and whether it was an embrace of or a reaction to the country's cultural and natural context.
The film is an example of Roeg's well-defined directorial style, characterised by strong visual composition from his experience as a cinematographer, combined with extensive cross-cutting and the juxtaposition of events, location, or environments to build his themes. This use of intellectual montage creates symbolism by juxtaposing two shots that are not literally connected.[original research?]For example, in one scene the Aboriginal boy is seen killing and dismembering a kangaroo, a passage interrupted by several brief clips of a butcher at work in his shop
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