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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 12.02.13] Australia drama adventure



In 1977, a 27-year old woman by the name of Robyn Davidson set off on a trek across the Australian desert from Alice Springs to the west coast with nothing more than four camels and her dog for company. Robyn didn't do it because she was trying to prove anything or to make some bold statement. She did it because she could and wanted to and her very personal journey made her a role model for other women who could relate to Davidson's push for independence and self discovery by her own terms rather than those dictated by society.

Her National Geographic article was so well received that Davidson later published "Tracks," a book which outlined her preparation for and the subsequent 1,700 mile long trek. Her novel is also the basis of John Curran's film which stars Mia Wasikowska as Davidson and which captures Davidson's time in the mid 70s preparing for her trip by learning to live in the desert and working with camels before finally setting off on her expedition. Adam Driver makes the occasional appearance as Rick Smolan, the National Geographic photographer who visited Davidson three times during the course of the trip.


Curran's Tracks is a beautiful adaptation of the material, a story of a young woman who feels disconnected from society and sets off, against everyone's better judgement, to find herself and her own place in the world. Wasikowska is spectacular in the role which sees her on screen for the movie's entire running time, often on her own, and the film is brought beautifully together by Garth Stevenson's brilliant score. It's a winning combination, a movie that often ventures into spiritual awakening territory; it's that good.

I loved Tracks when I saw it earlier this year and can't wait for the chance to see it again. It has been picked up by The Weinstein Company and will see release sometime next year.


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Kudzu Bob (5 years ago) Reply

"She did it because she could and wanted to and her very personal journey made her a role model for other women who could relate to Davidson's push for independence and self discovery by her own terms rather than those dictated by society."

Really? Or was she exposed to a bunch of books and movies when she was a little girl about strong, independent women who go off and do guy-type things? If the latter, then she is just as much a puppet as anybody else.

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Marina (5 years ago) Reply

Excellent point. I don't know her and from the little I've read of her, and from what I took from the movie, she did it because she felt like she didn't belong in the world and this was her way of finding herself.


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