Starring Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg and David Gulpilil
Screenplay by Edward Bond
Directed by Nicolas Roeg
Running time 100 minutes
Sharing the theme of survival in a hostile environment with our last film The Warriors, this visually dazzling drama is the second feature by director Nicolas Roeg. One of the most mercurial and gifted British filmmakers of his generation, Roeg began his career as a cameraman working on 'Lawrence Of Arabia' and 'Dr Zhivago'.
His debut as a director - ‘Performance’ - remains one of the most original and extraordinary British movies of modern times. Walkabout, made a year later, tells the story of two children who find themselves abandoned in the Australian outback after their father goes berserk. They meet and befriend a young aborigine boy with whom they travel on foot through the barren landscape. Although they cannot communicate with him he teaches them how to find water and forage for food.
The three become unlikely companions until civilisation intrudes on the odd family group that they have formed…
Roeg photographs the outback and its wildlife to highlight its strange and vivid beauty with almost hallucinogenic intensity. These images are cross cut in a way that was to become his trademark - often playing with time, space and narrative to fascinating effect.
The screenplay, by playwright Edward Bond, has a simple, fable-like quality which is both poetic and mysterious. The young cast are excellent - Jenny Agutter, who plays the nameless girl of the tale, is still best known for her role in 'The Railway Children' on TV and film. David Gulpilil, who plays the Aborigine boy, has appeared in many successful Australian films since Walkabout including 'Crocodile Dundee'.