THE TRACKER

Australia, 2002 (MIFF 2002)

Director: Rolf de Heer

The Australian outback, 1922... four men relentlessly track a Fugitive, an Aboriginal man accused of murder. Nominally in charge of the expedition is the Fanatic (Gary Sweet), calculating and complex. The Follower (Damon Gameau) is new to the frontier, a greenhorn. The Veteran (Grant Page) is along for the ride, placing thoughts before action. But all three whites are dependent on the mysterious figure of the black Tracker (David Gulpilil). When an interrogation of some bush blacks turns into a massacre, paranoia sets in, and the quesitons becomes not, will the Fugitive be caught, but what is black and what is white and who is leading whom?

With The Tracker, Australian writer-director-producer Rolf de Heer has crafted a film triumph. At the height of a career of internationally acclaimed films - including Bad Boy Bubby (1993), Dance Me to My Song (MIFF 1998) and The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (MIFF 2001) - de Heer proves his cinematic range with a film equal parts historic drama and metaphor for a nation. Always pushing conventions, de Heer's touch is clear: dialogue is minimal, songs performed by Archie Roach heighten and subvert the tensions, and the violence is portrayed in a series of paintings by acclaimed artist Peter Coad, especially commissioned for the film. Outstanding performances and a bone-chilling script - this mythical journey is a film for our times.

Rolf de Heer was born in Holland, and has lived in Australia since his youth. He worked for seven years at the ABC before attending the Australian Film Television and Radio School in 1977. He made his directorial debut in 1984 with Tail of a Tiger, followed by a line of locally and internationally acclaimed films including Incident at Raven's Gate (1987), Dingo (1990), Bad Boy Bubby (1993), Epsilon (1995), The Quiet Room (1995), Dance Me To My Song (MIFF 1998) and The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (MIFF 2001).


See also...

TRACKER, The

David Gulpilil delivers a seminal performance in Rolf de Heer's unflinching look at an oft-ignored chapter in Australian history. ... The first of his remarkable collaborations with Rolf de Heer, The ... More »

CHARLIE S COUNTRY

"A majestic work, destined to be thought of in years to come as a gift to the nation … the screening I saw received a seven-minute standing ovation." – The Age ... Upon its release in 2013, Rolf de He... More »

TEN CANOES

"At once a wry fable about jealousy and desire, a fascinating ethnographic document and a highly enjoyable nudge-in-the-ribs shaggy dog story." – Time Out ... Long ago, stories were told. Ten Canoes d... More »

THE OLD MAN WHO READ LOVE STORIES

Antonio Bolivar (Richard Dreyfuss) has spent most of his life as a recluse living deep within the Amazonian jungle and passing his days reading pulp romances. His tentative affair with the young Josef... More »

MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING

Who really wrote Shakespeare? Even the director of London's Globe theatre has his doubts. Melbourne-born filmmaker Michael Rubbo probes experts from London to Seattle, arriving at a film essay of incr... More »

Excursion

"You wake up. That's how it always starts. You find yourself in a four-walled cell, the scent of all your lost dreams hanging in the air". So begins this absurd, visually inventive and comically-charg... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director