Canberra Museum and Gallery, 176 London Circuit, Canberra, Australia
Reel Classics: Walkabout (1971)
100 MINUTES, AUSTRALIA, UK, USA
DIRECTOR: NICOLAS ROEG
CAST: JENNY AGUTTER, DAVID GULPILIL, LUC ROEG
A schoolgirl and her younger brother travel to Central Australia with their father. For no apparent reason, the father attempts their murder, fails and then kills himself. The pair wander through the desert. They chance upon a young Aboriginal man with whom they share no language. He leads them in the direction of safety. The limits of language, the intrusion of chance, confusion and loss, all combine to make a complex, but accessible film. It is naturalistic in form, filled with cross-cutting, leaving unnecessary details unexplained. A defining classic of the ‘70s New Wave, Walkabout is dream-like and haunting … a thrill to watch.
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