British director captured dissenting strands of Aussie psyche
Awkward in fitting English actors into a faraway setting, and yes, over-coloured in Technicolor: so this English director caught some of the paradoxes of Australia, the raw young country less than 100 years settled in Boldrewood's yarn. Three things Jack Lee (who died only c2003) understood and expressed more fully than perhaps anyone, English or Australian. First, the wild irresponsibility of the bushranger released from society's constraints (Peter Finch's manic side caught this brilliantly). Second, the special eternal power of the ancient bush country (in this case, the Flinders Ranges, also the setting for 2002's The Tracker). Third, however briefly seen, the deep calm and perfect attunement to his country of the native man Warrigal, so that in this raw place, it is only the dispossessed who has ownership - a nod here to the real-life horseman Johnny Cadell, a screen natural.
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