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The Tracker (2002)

Cast: David Gulpilil, David Gulpilil, Gary Sweet, more...
Director: Rolf De Heer, Rolf De Heer
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: ArtMattan Productions/Facets Video
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Politics and Social Issues, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Experimental/Avant-Garde, Australia & New Zealand
Running Time: 98 min.
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Synopsis
Experimental director Rolf DeHeer's film The Tracker depicts a controversial moment in the Australian justice system, in doing so taking on a popular topic among Australian filmmakers--the complicated and too often racist relationship between Aboriginals and locals. When an Aboriginal tracker (David Gulpilil) leads the manhunt for a fugitive native, a series of atrocities are performed on the ancient tribe by a sadistic policeman participating in the search party. The line between savage and civilian is blurred beyond recognition when Fanatic (Gary Sweet), the policeman, massacres a large group of peaceful Aboriginals. It eventually becomes clear that the tracker, who purposely keeps the Aboriginal a half-day ahead of the search party, is in control of the operation and has his own mysterious agenda. DeHeer takes a unique approach in the direction of this film; opting to show graphic paintings by artist Peter Coad during violent moments in lieu of filming bloody scenes among the actors. The drama itself is often contradicted by haunting, plaintive songs with lyrics written by DeHeer himself. ~ Tracie Cooper, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Racism in 1920s Australia by talltale November 16, 2005 - 9:08 PM PST
12345678910
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Finally getting a long overdue--the movie was made in 2002--but not particularly decent DVD release (the transfer is too-often blurry), THE TRACKER is worth a watch. The story, scenery and performances make up for the lack of DVD quality. Australia in the 1920s is the backdrop for a manhunt in the wilds, as three whites and their aboriginal tracker do the hunting, besieged quietly along the way by the odd spear. The cruelty of the white leader toward the abos is grueling and awful, even though there is little on-screen violence (cutting away to an artist's impression of the violence is an interesting choice here).

Just when you wonder if you can withstand any more of the casual racism and cruelty, a change occurs, and the movie changes with it. Be sure to watch the wonderful documentary included on the DVD about the life and work of Aborigine actor (and "Tracker" star) David Gulpilil. It's as good as the film itself.




GreenCine Member Rating
12345678910

(Average 6.50)
6 Votes
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