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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
The poetry quoted by the narrator at the end of the film is Part 40 of A.E. Housman's "A Shropshire Lad": Into my heart an air that kills From yon far country blows: What are those blue remembered hills, What spires, what farms are those? That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, The happy highways where I went And cannot come again. See more »
Jenny's stockings variously disappear and reappear with no continuity. It seems earlier scenes with her wearing them are intermingled with later scenes where she doesn't wear them. See more »
Opening caption: In Australia, when an Aborigine man-child reaches sixteen, he is sent out into the land. For months he must live from it. Sleep on it. Eat of its fruit and flesh. Stay alive. Even if it means killing his fellow creatures. The Aborigines call it the WALKABOUT. This is the story of a "WALKABOUT". See more »
Outstanding commentary on cultural clashes, though a bit puzzling at times.
A sometimes puzzling, sometimes enigmatic, but always interesting movie, although it is a bit easier to understand if you've read the novel on which it's based. Jenny Agutter is particularly good as the English girl who suddenly finds herself stranded in the desert with her younger brother, and was at just the right age--about 16--to play the part. David Gulpilil as the aborigine youth "gone walkabout" who rescues them is also excellent. The uncomfortable contrasts between European and aboriginal cultures are undeniably accurate, and the use of A. E. Housman's poem, "Into my heart an air that kills" adds additional poignancy to the already bittersweet ending.
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