Directed by Warwick Thornton
A just killing triggers a manhunt across Australia.
This beautiful new Western hits “painfully close” to home, said Chris Nashawaty in Entertainment Weekly. Though set in the 1920s Australian outback, its “spare, deliberately paced, and almost biblical” story of racial injustice summons the ghosts of America’s past. When an Aboriginal stockman kills a white farmer in self-defense, the killer and his wife flee, and a manhunt ensues. And though the story is simple, “the visuals are gorgeous, capturing the cruel beauty of the desert.” Despite bursts of violence, the film is “overwhelmingly quiet,” lingering over ambient sounds as the fugitives, Sam and Lizzie (first-time actors Hamilton Morris and Natassia Gorey-Furber), traverse Australia’s Northern Territory, said April Wolfe in the VillageVoice.com. The silences help us see the world through the eyes of the story’s indigenous characters, yet “no one is innocent here.” With a “stoically vengeful” Bryan Brown leading the posse on his tail, Sam repeatedly outwits his pursuers, said Jeannette Catsoulis in The New York Times. But because every victory is short-lived, “we can’t help feeling that, for Sam and his ilk, no amount of guile will ever be enough.”