Sunday, 24 May 2009
Samson and Delilah is a truthful visually powerful movie that owes little to the Hollywood conventions of over explanation whether verbal, or visual. Set against the desert of Central Australia and alien and culturally challenging intrusion that is Alice Springs this is a story of growing affection against a background of depression, petrol sniffing and violence of two Aboriginal teenagers.
This is a movie that will reward patience with quality acting, engaging music and a visual approach that allows the landscape and the people tell the story.
What came across to me was the extent of cultural disconnection and the sheer effort that is required of the Aboriginal people to engage the invading culture if they are not to become victims.
The silences and the iconography of this film will bear unpacking. The church in Thornton's film is a presence throughout but does little to directly bridge the gap. The crucifixion however becomes briefly but clearly significantly associated with the opening of hope with which the film concludes.
This is not a film with a direct and explicit political agenda - it is however a film with with a clear moral agenda around recognising our common humanity with the first peoples across a large and destructive cultural divide that has become historically entrenched.