The picture was inspired by the photographs of Rick Smolan. See more »
Robyn spends months walking in the sun with barely any protection, often half-dressed, and develops hardly any tan, and one nasty sunburn that appears in one scene and is gone the next. See more »
Dear sir, I am planning to walk across the Australian desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. A distance of 2,000 miles. The trip will take six to seven months. There are herds of feral camels roaming freely throughout Central Australia, and my idea was to capture a few and train them to carry my gear.
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The initial credits are shown over original photos from the "Tracks" book and the National Geographic article. The photos, taken by Rick Smolan, show Robyn Davidson during the actual walk. See more »
Traditional Song And Dance
performed by Pitjantjatjara women from Mutitjulu and Kaltukatjara See more »
Very good Australian adventure-drama
Tracks is the true story of Robyn Davidson, a 27 year old woman from Brisbane who in 1977 decided to embark on a 1,677 mile trek from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, crossing the Australian outback. She did it mainly alone, aside from four camels and a faithful dog. She was helped a little by a photographer who organised financial backing for her trip from National Geographic magazine and with whom she had brief romantic involvement on her trip, while she was also assisted on the way by some Aboriginals who guided her though sacred lands of theirs. The trip in total took nine months.
This is one of those movies where the adventure itself is used as a means of the lead character exploring themselves as well as the more literal physical journey. Davidson endures both physical and psychological hardships along the way. While she never really goes into any detail as to why she is impelled to embark on her journey, we understand from various dream-like flashbacks that her mother committed suicide when she was an infant and this event has gone some way into shaping her the way she is. She is a loner and very self-contained but her subsequent adventure makes her realise more fully in the importance of others and that relying and respecting other folks is no bad thing and her own personal goals should at the very least be offset against these aspects.
Mia Wasikowska is very good as Davidson, she is quite believable in the role in a way that a lot of other actresses would not be, while Adam Driver also makes a mark as the photographer who is a little annoying but essentially a good person. The dramatics are fairly sparse here though because ultimately this is a film about solitude to a large extent. Consequently, a lot of the focus is on the landscape, terrain and animals. The excellent photography is very effective here in capturing both the beauty but also the harsh arid nature of this world. And the camels and dog are elevated to important and lovable characters and are also photographed very well. It should also be pointed out here that Wasikowska really seems to have put herself in some danger with her up and close interactions with some pretty scary mouth-frothing camels. This is clearly a role she committed herself to fully.
I always think that the Australian outback is such a cinematic place and its long flat horizons are particularly well suited to the widescreen frame – think Walkabout (1971), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) or the more conventional recent Mystery Road (2013). It's specific combination of untamed nature, enigmatic indigenous people, functional isolated settlements and the western world close but so far away is a concoction that is unusual and ensures that Australian films set in the outback do often have their own unique feeling. Tracks is another in this type and it is appealing for all of these reasons. It, of course, has the added advantage of being a true story which always lends something extra. I'm not sure if you could exactly describe it as a travelogue picture though, as aside from brief sequences featuring the likes of Uluru, its landscape is far more harsh and arid and not precisely what you would describe as beautiful. Because of this, it feels like an authentic depiction of the real event. It's a quite minimalistic example of the biopic and a very good one.
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