DRAMA; 1hr 30min
STARRING: Cameron Wallaby, Joseph Pedley, David Gulpilil
Remote control: from left, Gulpilil and Wallaby
Old Jagamarra (Gulpilil) is a wise man who understands the inherent power of the Australian bush. His grandson, Pete (Wallaby), being 10 and missing his absent mother (Rohanna Angus), isn’t interested in Jagamarra’s words of wisdom. Pete’s aimless mooching is shattered by the arrival of a construction company with immediate plans to tear down the derelict drive-in where he and his grandfather are living. With three days to stop them, Pete and his partner in petty crime, Kalmain (Pedley), set off for the city on their bicycles. Their Homeric trek takes them through parched swathes of the Kimberley country and into unexplored realms of self-discovery.
Wallaby and Pedley’s raw innocence as first-time performers is a counterpoint to the remote magnificence of the landscape, expressively shot by Geoffrey Simpson. Writer-director Catriona McKenzie wanted to tell “a most simple story” and in one sense she has: two kids going bush is a basic equation. But on those spare bones hang mortality, spirituality, courage, belief and friendship. Along with boys being boys, of course. No matter where you meet them, some truths never change.