Director: John Curran
Headstrong and antisocial Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska) feels a need to escape from everything civilized and trek across the harsh, Australian Outback in 1977. With four camels (Dookie, Bub, Zeleika and baby Goliath) and her dog Diggity, the 27 year old leaves Alice Springs, commencing a 2700 kilometre walkabout that ends at the Indian Ocean. National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (played by Adam Driver) documents her tale of solitude and self-discovery at pre-determined checkpoints along her route.
Visually the film pulls you into every step she takes across the dry and barren lands. You feel the heat, the humidity, and her determination above all to finish her quest. And without the help of any CGI, Wasikowska learns the rough art of camel training. The camels soon become characters, making up for the lack of human camaraderie. Aptly nick-named the Camel Lady, Davidson shows great respect for her surroundings and the traditions of the Australian Aboriginals, honouring their beliefs and rituals as she trespasses across sacred lands.
Despite director John Curran’s passion for dreamlike layering, it does run a little long. It’s still worth the watch for its vibrant cinematography, interesting locations, charismatic animals and moreover for her fortitude to reach her goal. (Eric Marchen)
Tuesday, September 10th, Visa Screening Room (Elgin), 6:00pm
Wednesday, September 11th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 2:45pm