Samson & Delilah

  • 15
  • Warwick Thornton (2009)
  • Aus (SUB)
  • 100 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

The Australian establishment's ghettoisation of the indigenous population is exposed with stern realism and wry humour in this uncompromising drama. Trapped in a dead-end existence on an Aboriginal settlement, teenager Delilah (Marissa Gibson) devotes herself to caring for her ageing grandmother, whose traditional artworks are bought for a pittance by a white gallery owner in nearby Alice Springs. When Delilah is cruelly blamed by the elders for her relative's death, she flees to the city with mute neighbour Samson (Rowan McNamara), who has had a vicious falling out with his older brother. While feeling utterly authentic, the misery is at times unremitting, as Delilah is exploited, abused and injured, while Samson succumbs to a petrol-sniffing addiction. A subplot involving an alcoholic hobo (played by the director's brother, Scott Thornton) lacks conviction, while the denouement is a touch too cosy. But the non-professional leads are spirited, vulnerable and exceptional.

Plot Summary

A rebellious teenage layabout from an Aboriginal community in the Australian Outback falls in love with a girl who is devoted to caring for her grandmother. When the couple become victims of violence, they decide to abandon their home and go in search of a better life together. Drama, starring Rowan McNamara and Marissa Gibson.

Cast and crew


Rowan McNamara
Marissa Gibson
Mitjili Gibson
Scott Thornton
Samson's brother
Matthew "MG" Gibson
Store manager
Peter Bartlett
Community lady
Noreen Robertson
Wheelchair boy
Kenrick "Ricco" Martin
Payback aunty
Fiona Gibson
Checkout lady
Morgain Wallace


Warwick Thornton

Other Information

Aboriginal +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Trinity Filmed Entertainment
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 2 Apr 2010
Certificate 15