Samson and Delilah (2009)

Samson and Delilah (2009)

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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.

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.

Camera d'Or (Best First Film), Cannes Film Festival 2009.
2009Rating: R16, contains violence, drug use101 minsAustralia
Drama
50%
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Reviews & comments

Born Lucky

I was totally glued to this film. NZ is my birth place but I have a deep affection for Australia. My sister and her husband spent 3 years teaching in Wiluna, north east of Perth in an Aboriginal settlement, many of the stories told by her back then were disturbing and it appears nothing has changed. Anon says the guy hardly takes is head out of a bag of...

5.0
0
Urban Cinefile

Urban Cinefile

press

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.

0
Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald

press

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.

0
Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

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.

0
IndieWire

IndieWire

press

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.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

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

4.0
0
Urban Cinefile

Urban Cinefile

press

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.

0
Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald

press

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.

0
Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

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.

0
IndieWire

IndieWire

press

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.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

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

4.0
0

Born Lucky

I was totally glued to this film. NZ is my birth place but I have a deep affection for Australia. My sister and her husband spent 3 years teaching in Wiluna, north east of Perth in an Aboriginal settlement, many of the stories told by her back then were disturbing and it appears nothing has changed. Anon says the guy hardly takes is head out of a bag of...

5.0
0