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Australia, 2013, 113 mins. Dir John Curran
In 1977, 27 year old Robyn Davidson set out on foot across the Australian outback on an extraordinary 9 month solo journey which would take her 2,700km through some of the world’s most awe inspiring and difficult terrain, with just four camels and her beloved dog.
Fuelled only with a fierce determination to be alone and a desperate need to reconnect with the land, cash-strapped Robyn begrudgingly agreed to have the journey documented by photographer Rick Smolans, and subsequently her very personal journey became a worldwide phenomenon courtesy of the National Geographic.
Curran’s film of Davidson’s book – which became a bible for backpackers arriving in Australia – is a mesmerising study of psychology and environment with Mia Wasikowska giving her best performance by far as fragile and fiery Robyn.
Star Australian cinematographer Mandy Walker (Lantana) beautifully captures the majesty of the subtly changing landscape, echoing the hues of Smolan’s photography on celluloid – notable as this was the last 35mm film to be developed in Australia before the final lab closed for good.
‘Curran’s film is less concerned with coming-of-age than simply coming-and-going: this is a simple and beautiful journey undertaken purely for its own sake, and approached in that spirit,Tracks will lead you to a place of quiet wonder.’