Year of Youth 2018

Transcendent ordeal of an outback pilgrim

Last edited 7th March 2014

Transcendent ordeal of an outback pilgrim

Robyn Davidson's trek in 1978, 2700km overland from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, is the stuff of legend. In the new film adapted from her memoir, Tracks, Robyn (Wasikowska) appears as an enigma, the motivations behind her odyssey oblique at best. Yet it is hard to miss her resentment towards friends who add noise to her final preparations, and towards the National Geographic photographer Rick (Driver) who intrudes intermittently on her trek in return for sponsorship from the magazine. Solitude, clearly, is largely the point.
As a meditation on the mythical 'outback experience' Tracks is sublime. By mythical I don't mean 'inauthentic'. Anyone who has had moments like my 'perfect Kimberley moment' will feel the mystical dimensions of Robyn's journey. Watch this film on the big screen and absorb cinematographer Mandy Walker's rendering of vast, claustrophobic space; of yellow sand and grey-green scrub and white-hot sun; of the degradation of Robyn's own skin by the elements as she traverses that sparse, living landscape. Cinematically, Tracks is stunning.


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