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The Tracker starring David Gulpilil, a Rolf de Heer film

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Uploaded on May 28, 2007

The year is 1922 and four men are pursuing an Aboriginal man accused of murdering a white woman.

They are led by The Fanatic (Gary Sweet) but they all follow the Tracker (David Gulpilil), a savvy bushman educated by nature and by missionaries. He is able to see imperceptible signs and to read human nature. He knows who he is following and who is following him.

The other two in the posse are a green young constable and a taciturn, old-school horseman.

The Fanatic is driven by an implacable sense of justice and vengeance, based on white law and bigotry. He will get his man no matter what the cost. He doesn't dwell on statistics. The law, based on discipline and fear, must be upheld.

While hardly a novel western scenario, director Rolf de Heer invests his film with great sensitivity and mystique - there are moral issues for each character, of course, and for the viewer. We do not know if the fugitive is innocent or guilty and whether he will be given fair treatment.

The young constable comes of age when his personal morality challenges his commitment to duty. The Veteran accepts inevitablities of human folly as he accepts the vicissitudes of nature. What's done is done and can't be undone. Human nature is more cruel. He suspends judgement - to his cost.

David Gulpilil in the title role is outstanding - his eyes alight with wisdom and patience. The Tracker is a capable gamesman - more a guerilla than a mercenary. How he plays his cards depends on his own sense of justice. It's a powerful performance from a gifted actor.

Winner Best Leading Role IF Awards 2002

Winner Best Film IF Awards 2002

Official Selection Venice International Film Festival 2002

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