The great Australian Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil won the Un Certain Regard acting award at Cannes for this mesmerising performance closely reflecting his own experience. Collaborating for a third time with director Rolf de Heer following The Tracker and Ten Canoes he appears here in virtually every frame. Living in a small Northern Territory community, under the genially patronising eye of the local cops, Charlie heads for the bush to reconnect with traditional life. But his health is not great and illness sees him uplifted and moved to Darwin. The title resounds with irony, but the film makes its points about patrimony with quiet force: there's a bemusement in Charlie's responses to white Australian paternalism that's transcendently sane. And just watching David Gulpilil step across a clearing in the bush is to see a land rights manifesto in dancelike motion.
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