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Walkabout (Criterion) (1971)

Cast: Jenny Agutter, Jenny Agutter, Lucien John, more...
Director: Nicolas Roeg, Nicolas Roeg
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Foreign, Adventure, Australia & New Zealand, Criterion Collection
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Walkabout (Criterion) (1971)
The contrast between modern, urban civilization and life in the natural world lies at the heart of Nicolas Roeg's visually dazzling drama Walkabout. In broad outline, the plot might resemble a standard fish-out-of-water tale: two city children become stranded in the Australian outback, and struggle to find their way back to civilization with the help of a friendly aborigine boy. But Roeg and screenwriter Edward Bond are concerned with far more than the average wilderness drama, as a shocking act of violence near the story's beginning makes clear. This is particularly true in regards to the relationship between the white children and the aborigine boy, who ultimately develops a troubled romantic attraction towards the older sister. Obviously intended as a statement on the exploitation of the natural world and native cultures by European civilization, the film nevertheless maintains an evocative vagueness that usually -- but not always -- favors poetry over didacticism. Most importantly, the film's justifiably acclaimed cinematography is likely to sway even those who find fault with the film's narrative and message. The shift between the sterile city images and the truly stunning, beautifully composed Australian landscapes provide the film's single best argument, making the film a vivid and convincing experience. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

Walkabout (Criterion) (Bonus Disc) (1971)
Special Features:
  • Video interviews with Agutter and actor Luc Roeg
  • Gulpilil - One Red Blood (2002), an hour-long documentary on the life and career of actor David Gulpilil

GreenCine Member Ratings

Walkabout (Criterion) (1971)
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7.64 (235 votes)
Walkabout (Criterion) (Bonus Disc) (1971)
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8.50 (2 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Stuck in my head by Texan99 September 5, 2010 - 2:35 PM PDT
This film's powerful opening and closing sequences made an indelible impression on me decades ago. A teenage European girl and her little brother are brutally propelled into the Australian outback by their father's shocking self-destruction, which neither they nor we can begin to explain. They're preserved from exposure and starvation by the young aborigine they encounter on his walkabout. Although they can barely communicate, the young man and woman profoundly affect each other, with the usual consequences: the European culture destroys the aboriginal, while the European is haunted by the brief contact for the rest of her life. In the final scene, the lovely young woman putters about in her modern kitchen, her beauty spoiled by makeup, inarticulately disturbed by images of what probably will prove to have been the only time in her life when she was not benumbed.

Jenny Agutter - siiiiiigh ... by MDixon June 1, 2004 - 4:09 PM PDT
3 out of 6 members found this review helpful
I had forgotten about her until I watched this - one of my youthful crushes. She shines in this movie - as do the other two stars, Lucien John and David Gumpilil. I guess the comparison which came to mind is The Emerald Forest - a quite different story with a similar theme, and not as good - and not solely for the Jenny factor, thank you. Stunning cinematography, a shocking (to me) beginning, and lots of - well, food for thought, to make a pun which, if you haven't seen Walkabout, you'll have to watch it to get. Very obvious when it needs to be, subtle when it can be (most of the time), Walkabout is timelessly relevant to today's ecosystem situations (probably even prescient in places). And, did I mention Jenny Agutter? Siiiiiiiiiiiigh - gotta go rent Logan's Run right away . . .

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