Walkabout (1971).

Walkabout-8263_4An Australian film about two children stranded in the Australian outback following their father’s suicide. An Aborigine boy shows them how to survive.


This is going to be a tricky one.

But I might as well crack on.

This film has been lauded in so many ways. It would seem unfair to score it any less than it has already been scored.

The cinematography is good, and the film has a lot of underlying themes. The film is supposed to be one massive metaphor for whites vs. savages but that theme is very outdated from the point of view of a 21st century audience. We British no longer expect the ‘savages’ to fall under our hand to the cull of routine, order and civilization.

What this film is predominantly about is the death of innocence. Its about repression. Jenny Agutter’s character (we sadly never learn her name) obviously desires the Aborigine boy but ignores his attempts at courtship which results in his death. Her younger brother (again, no name but played by Luc Roeg) learns to communicate with the Aboriginie boy and at the end has lost his innocence in a way because he asks questions about his father’s suicide and seems to accept it.

Or you could flip the whole scene on its proverbial head and argue that the whole film is the impassioned dream of a stifled housewife living in a Sydney apartment block. That would certainly be an interesting take on the whole film.
There are also interesting shots of Australian wildlife, but the camera doesn’t shy away from lingering on Agutter’s femininity throughout the film.

Aside from that, the film does seem a bit tedious and the dialogue is a bit inane. For all that it was lauded by film scholars, I don’t really want to watch it again…

MY RATING: ** / *****


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