Director: Nicolas Roeg
Year Released: 1971
Symbolic allegory about a girl and her brother who get stranded in the Australian Outback when their father commits suicide and blows up his car (after trying to kill them with a pistol) and wind up meeting a young aborigine on his walkabout, or trial for manhood. The first time I saw it I was a lot less receptive or aware of the depth of the material, but after seeing it this time (some difficult films require multiple viewings), found beauty and truth in the metaphorical depiction of what is essentially a story of teenage sexuality (and the breech between "uncivilized" culture/sexuality and "civilized" culture/sexuality). Multiple readings could be made of what the events have to do with each other or what the juxtapositions are alluding to (menstruation is clearly indicated when images of flowing blood accompany pristine shots of Jenny Agutter swimming nude), and a lot can be said about the aborigine, the girl and her little brother (director Roeg's son!) as a twisted version of the nuclear family. Frankly, it's all quite amazing, and despite some really minor quibbles about the excessive shots of rocks and sky in the first half-hour, is one of the best films I've seen in a long time.