A psychiatrist, living in Vienna, enters a torrid relationship with a married woman. When she ends up in the hospital from an overdose, an inspector becomes set on discovering the demise of their affair.
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 »
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 »
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 »
A director's cut of this movie was released in 1997 with 5 additional minutes. This cut is identical to the original British release version (100 minutes): the film was shortened by five minutes for its original American release. See more »
A remarkably potent little film about a couple of very proper English kids who get lost in the Australian outback and hitch up with an aborigine boy on his initiation quest (or "walkabout"). My mom took me to see it when I was ten, and I've been haunted by it ever since. With some understated yet disturbing themes of alienation and violence, as well as the first scenes of full nudity I had ever witnessed on screen, I've sometimes wondered whether mom knew what she was getting into when she took me along. According to the trailer in the letterbox edition, Parents' Magazine recommended the film "without reservation" for young and old alike, because it depicts "facts of life." While that may be true, times have changed, and I can't imagine anyone today describing this subtle and unsettling story as "family fare." Incredibly tame, on its face, by today's standards of sensory overload, its essential world-weariness and maturity is no longer a didactic priority in our age of overconfidence. Watching it recently, I was on guard for signs of the myth of the "noble savage"--the hackneyed, simplistic, and generally hypocritical pretension that pre-industrial and non-Western peoples are morally superior to decadent moderns, which is demeaning to both modern and "savage" alike. There are instances of it here--most notably when a couple of rifle-toting, four-wheeling hunters decimate the landscape--but the overall emphasis is on the parallels between aborigine and Western life. Even scenes of the transience and decay of modern civilization are mirrored by the life-and-death cycles of the wilderness. With so many underlying similarities, the real question is why the teenaged English girl cannot embrace, figuratively and literally, the young black man who has saved her life and provided so selflessly for her, even while her younger brother, in all his innocence, has never doubted that they are a family. Is it race? Culture? Or does it reach to more fundamental questions of boy and girl, man and woman, human and human? This film has held up remarkably well over the past 30 years, and is well worth a look.
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