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In 1977 Robyn Davidson became famous by making the 1,700-mile trek from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, accompanied by four camels and a dog. Why she did it was a complex matter, fuelled partly by instincts inherited from her naturalist father, but the beauty of director John Curran's striking film is that it never seeks to explain, treating the event more as a calling than a road trip. Key to its success is a star turn from Mia Wasikowska, the pretty blonde star of so many costume dramas (
) - and a ringer for the real Robyn - who dives fearlessly into the desert dirt. Since we know Davidson made it, this isn't a survival thriller but an episodic journey of self-discovery, documented at various points by a photographer from National Geographic magazine (Adam Driver). Obviously, it can't match the epic nature of the original mission, but Curran brings us as close as we're ever likely to get, contrasting the sweeping majesty of vast swathes of Australia with fleeting insights into Davidson's inner mind; a hippie chick in her late 20s, determined to do something profound, poetic and possibly even magical with her life.
An Australian woman abandons her life in the city with the intention of making a solo trek across the Australian Outback. She takes a job on an Alice Springs camel farm to get used to working with the animals, taking four of them and her trusty dog on a perilous 1,700-mile trek through the desert to the Indian Ocean. Fact-based drama, starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver.
Cast & Crew
Swearing, brief nudity.
DVD and Blu-ray
25 Apr 2014
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