Samson and Delilah

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.Hide

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Flicks Review

Alright, so the story of two Aboriginal kids fleeing from a violent community in central Australia doesn’t sound like much of a laugh, does it? But hold tight because, even though Samson and Delilah descends to some fairly grim depths, its focus on redemption makes the harsh journey worth the trek. In fact, it’s only in the final stretch of this slow-burning drama that we get a chance to reflect on what has come before and realise that it’s been a love story all along.... More

The lack of dialogue between the lead characters pushes believability levels but otherwise the film sweats authenticity. The actors are mostly first-timers, and they’ve all lived the experience (the elderly Mitijili Gibson was 35-years-old before she saw a white face). This is a film made by someone who knows what he’s talking about. It’s an honest representation of the rough experience of living in the dry, dusty, dirty, derelict desert of outback Australia.

Warwick Thornton’s debut feature is beautifully shot and cinematically crafted, especially with its use of inventive sound design. His ability to draw out the sensitivity in both his young actors and in the simple, unadorned storyline marks him as a unique, emerging Australian filmmaking voice.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 6 ratings, 6 reviews
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I was tortured.

Not one nice scene for 99% of the movie.

and then sunlight...and her face and i was enraptured.

I was as happy to see that girl as Samson. I really believed she was gone.

A very new and gutsy experience that will be hard to surpass. Why? Because its real!

I didn't like the portrayal of the priest. No help for the suffering? But even as a believing Christian, I do believe most mainstream churches are fronts for big business. Guilty consciences keep them strong.

Moral:... More disaster before help.

societies failed indictment.

For that reason above most, this film is a five star victory.

Also met the film makers at Wintec in Hamilton New Zealand in 2008. They were showing the short film of the young aboriginal boy.Hide


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 glue fumes and there is pointless discussion to a pathetic situation...How can he not really see what this film portrays? How can he not be... More disturbed by it.
Well done Warwick Thornton!! I hope Australia recognises the insufferable tedious life experienced by many of the indigenous people of outback Australia

I say to you Anon. Born LuckyHide


I could get the same level of enjoyment sitting around watching homeless people on the street, i.e. not much!

The tagline on the poster "True Love" is just silly.. The guy hardly takes his head out of a bag of glue fumes.

I don't doubt that this film depicts reality for many. I just don't see what the film brings to the discussion other than wringing some pathos out of a miserable situation.

For a genuinely challenging film about disadvantaged people watch "Enjoy Poverty" a documentary by... More Dutch artist Renzo Martens.Hide


Thornton's courage to put this story before the world
is surprising. The attitude and failure of the vicar is much more common approach. This film will shock many people into
helping the indigenous populace have purposeful lives.


I actually loved this film and it's kinda hard to ignore the message. It is very 'real' and the groundhog day insanity is frightening. It ain't pretty, but if you have an ounce of compassion for culture causes, don't miss it!


Showing 5 of 6 reviews. See all reviews

The Press Reviews

94% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

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

  • 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. Full Review

  • 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. Full Review

  • 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. Full Review

  • 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. Full Review

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