The Story: Nicolas Roeg's solo directorial debut is a haunting, unconventional narrative film that presents a bleak vision of civilized life as arid and unrewarding. Abandoned in the Australian outback, two young white children (Jenny Agutter and Roeg's son Lucien) stumble upon an adolescent Aborigine (David Gulpilil), who is performing a "walkabout." In this ritualistic six-month journey, the boy must learn to survive by himself in the imposing desert. Communication is a problem, although more for the girl than for her little brother, who still has a child's ability to communicate simply and directly. The two teenagers fail to connect for a variety of reasons, mostly due to the girl's lack of interest in a culture that is unfamiliar and different from her own. Ultimately, the differences become too much to bear, resulting in a tragic conclusion that adds an even more somber denouement to Roeg's already grim vision. Based on the novel by James Vance Marshall, Walkabout is a powerful commentary on pastoral simplicity versus cosmopolitan clutter, and features stunning cinematography from Roeg.
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 100 minutes