The shape of this is ordinary. The forces at work are familiar: big company, coopted locals, indigenous victims. It happens to be well crafted, so is better in quality than most.
But it has two features that endear it, at least to me. It has the desolate outback of Western Australia. This is the oldest land on the planet, and happens to be both desolate and mineral rich. I have not been there but hope to be. The presence of the place is in what is not there.
And it has David Gulpilil, now passed away but continues to be a national treasure. This culture is fading — at least 40,000 years without outside disturbance. While we will have some public record and some local continuity, the accessibility for newcomer white folk will be through film. And he is our anchor, appearing in many films that matter.
Here, he has relatively little screen time, but a pivotal role in the story. He looks emaciated, probably ill and suffering effects of substance abuse. It is worth the film just for his gait and face. I’ll recommend ’10 Canoes’ as well.
Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.