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M. David Melvin
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A privileged British family consisting of a mother, a geologist father and an adolescent daughter and son, live in Sydney, Australia. Out of circumstance, the siblings, not knowing exactly where they are, get stranded in the Outback by themselves while on a picnic. They only have with them the clothes on their backs - their school uniforms - some meagre rations of nonperishable food, a battery-powered transistor radio, the son's satchel primarily containing his toys, and a small piece of cloth they used as their picnic drop-cloth. While they walk through the Outback, sometimes looking as though near death, they come across an Australian boy who is on his walkabout, a rite of passage into manhood where he spends months on end on his own living off the land. Their largest problem is not being able to verbally communicate. The boy does help them to survive, but doesn't understand their need to return to civilization, which may or may not happen based on what the Australian boy ends up ... Written by
Jenny Agutter was embarrassed when doing the scene of her swimming naked in the lake, so as many as possible of the crew were sent away. When shooting was done they returned, stripped naked, and went for a swim. See more »
The girl asks to be taken to the city of Adelaide, the children's destination in the novel. However, the city shown at the start and end of the film is clearly Sydney, which is several thousand kilometers (and two states) away from Adelaide. See more »
Beautiful lead character and a film with a subtle message
I first remember seeing this film as a late teenager in about 1979. Therefore what most vividly stuck in my mind was the lead character played by a beautiful blonde English girl, Jenny Agutter, Specifically the nude scenes of her swimming and washing.
On a less superficial level it is a film with a point-something along the lines of the graciousness of Aborigines and their ability to live in harsh surrounds, and the destructive nature of suburban life in a flat in a major city.
I think it would be a film, like Jedda, that will always be on reference for the Australian Outback, Aboriginals and the modern society which brought a European civilisation to their land.
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