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I don't think I was ready for how surreal Walkabout was. Nominally a coming of age story about a girl (Jenny Agutter) and her young brother (director Nicholas Roeg's 6-year-old son Luc) lost in the Australian Outback who meet an Aboriginal boy (David Gulipil), it's really a layered visual poem about, depending on what filter you put on it, nascent sexuality, tradition vs. modernity, the corruption of the urban lifestyle, one's ability or inability to understand the Other's point of view, and nature in all its beauty and harshness. There's a case to be made that it is entirely allegorical, and as a proper story, it has a slow pace and difficult to understand Aboriginal concepts (as Westerners, we share the Girl's point of view). Tender hearts beware, there's an awful lot of onscreen animal killings, part of its documentary feel. Not an easy piece, but one that bears rewatching periodically, as even my exploration of the commentary track (with Agutter and Roeg separately telling production stories) revealed new meanings and images quite apart from what they were saying.
amazing movie. we need more films with Digeridoo soundtracks!
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