Charlie's Country

Sunday 18th January 5:00 PM


Australia; 2007. The Government brings in the 'Northern Territory National Emergency Response' (usually just called 'The Intervention'), nominally to intervene against child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities, but resulting chiefly in a bigger clamp down on Aborigines' lifestyle.

Australia; today. Charlie has had enough of living under whitefella laws in his remote community and decides to take off and live 'the old way' in the bush...but can he remember the old skills and is his ageing body fit enough to survive? The story was co-written by director Rolf de Heer and longtime friend, leading actor David Gulpilil. The two have worked together before on 'Ten Canoes' and 'The Tracker', whilst Gulpilil has been playing leading roles since 'Walkabout', through 'Crocodile Dundee' and 'Australia'.

The plot is supposedly semi-autobiographical, following Gulpilil's ups and downs in recent years which even saw him in prison for a time. His acting especially gets great reviews (a best actor award at Cannes - almost the only showing so far in Europe - and the rest from the Australian press); 'Gulpilil's extraordinary grace and physical ease is still there, as it was in his first screen role 43 years ago in Nic Roeg's 'Walkabout'. But his face is now ravaged by time and history, and some of the close-ups here are terribly haunting. He shows us anger, resignation, defiance and sorrow at the same time, without a word' - Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald.

The showing of the film at Cannes resulted in a 7 minute standing ovation; what will we think?


“A film made with passion and conviction. Bouquets to de Heer for delivering such a raw and insightful film that manages to keep us engaged from start to finish”

Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile

“Whatever his [Gulpilil] motives, he has given us an unforgettable film, beautifully made, at times unbearably sad, but tinged with an unquenchable optimism and humanity.”

Evan Williams, The Australian



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