Samson and Delilah (2009)

Samson and Delilah (2009)

Poster for Samson and Delilah (2009)

Director Warwick Thornton's first feature, about a pair of outcast Aboriginal kids who flee from their tiny central Australian community. Winner of the Camera d'Or for Best First Film at Cannes in May. More

It's not the taut poetry of Thornton's sublimely visual narrative style that people are talking about: it's violence and addiction in Aboriginal communities, and how they limit the options of young Samson and Delilah, two tender, uncertain kids whose spirits are sustained by little more than their teasing, unadmitted love for each other. The frankness with which Thornton depicts their descent into pariahdom in Alice Springs has a staunch matter-of-fact humanity about it, a determination to stand by one's own, that is both excruciating and stirring to behold. And though you may spend long passages of this film dreading what's coming next, Thornton always nurtures the hopefulness that allow us and his young protagonists a chance at redemption.

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2009Rating: R16, contains violence, drug use101 minsAustralia
Drama

Streaming (4 Providers)

Samson and Delilah (2009) | Awards

Award Winner
Camera d'Or (Best First Film), Cannes Film Festival 2009.

Samson and Delilah (2009) | Reviews

Urban Cinefile

Urban Cinefile

There are flaws in the film, to be sure, developments that we question or time frames we don't buy; but they seem to vanish in the greater context of the film's heart and soul. And most importantly for Australian filmmaking, there is a complexity to our response; it's neither 'feel good' or a 'downer'. It's complicated - and therefore satisfying for mature movie palates.

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Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald

Despite the flash of hope that Thornton gives you at the end, he isn't in the business of providing the kind of cathartic release you get from more conventional storytellers. He takes you into another world, but finds no obligation to make you comfortable there. He's made a tender film, and an honest one, but it's tough going.

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Screen Daily

Screen Daily

The honest naturalism of the two young leads is the main reason for the film’s intense grip and power. McNamara (Samson) and Gibson (Delilah) were greeted with a deserved and thunderous standing ovation at the premiere.

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IndieWire

IndieWire

Beyond its undeniable worth as a piece of top-notch filmmaking, Samson and Delilah’s value also resides in its ability to share with a wide audience, and in a language we can all understand, a largely untold story steeped in the painful truth of this country’s bloody history.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

Beautifully made and acted, this is a wrenching portrait of young Aboriginal Australians at grave risk.

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Samson and Delilah (2009) | Release Details

Samson and Delilah (2009) is available to stream in New Zealand now on Netflix and Apple TV and Academy On Demand and AroVision.