A pair of teenaged lovers take flight and search for hope in Warwick Thornton’s unflinching portrait of life in a remote Indigenous community.
On a regular morning in Alice Springs, Samson (Rowan McNamara) awakens and reaches for the numbing fumes of petrol. The silent, young Indigenous man dreams of playing in his brother’s reggae band and has his eye on Delilah (Marissa Gibson), the girl next door. He shadows her as she goes about her business, most of which involves caring for her grandmother. As Samson draws closer, a sudden series of events propel the pair into a state of limbo on the outskirts of big town life.
One of the most celebrated pieces of contemporary Australian realism, Samson and Delilah was shot entirely on 35mm film, lending Thornton’s cinematography a candid, raw quality, as reflected in the astute director’s choice to employ natural or existing light and keep the number of production crew small. There are no cranes, no tracks, no tricks – not even a gaffer. Complementing this unaffected cinematic style is a cast of mostly untrained actors; the film’s remarkable leads Rowan McNamara and Marissa Gibson had no prior acting experience and have not pursued acting since.
Samson and Delilah premiered at the 4th Adelaide Film Festival and made its international premiere at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival where Thornton won the Camera D’Or.
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