The Tracker

Tracker, The (Rolf de Heer, 2002) wr. Rolf de Heer, dp Ian Jones; David Gulpilil, Gary Sweet, Damon Gameau, Grant Page; national release 8 August. David Gulpilil won Best Actor AFI Awards 7 November 2002; songs performed by Archie Roach; 98 min.

If audiences feel overwhelmed by its didactic aspects, seeing the film as foregrounding its social problem concerns, they may feel more comfortable if they feel free to consider also its generic intertexts (other westerns), and its artistic aspects, and particularly its music. However, The Tracker is not reducible to any of these aspects, and is clearly more than the sum of its types. Garry Gillard, Australian Screen Education, 34, 2004: 115-119.

I was also struck by the power and brilliance of the ending, which manages to encapsulate the film’s heart, wrapping its humanity in humour. For all that, The Tracker is basically a tense, character driven drama that relies on the craftsmanship of cinema; it would be a grave error to dump it in the bin of politically correct Australian filmmaking. Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile.

The Tracker is one of those rare films that deserves to be called haunting. It tells the sort of story we might find in an action Western, but transforms it into a fable or parable. ... Truffaut said it was impossible to make an anti-war film because the action always argued for itself; de Heer may have found the answer. Roger Ebert.


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