By and large I enjoy movies that tell a real story and that confront us with life as it really is and there’s no question Samson and Delilah does that.
Its the story of two aboriginal teenagers living on a community in central Australia who leave and attempt to find their place in Alice Springs. From beginning to end it depicts the tragic, meaningless existence of these young people and the lack of hope they experience.
I don’t make any claims to be knowledgeable on what its like to be an aboriginal teenager in the outback, but if this film has any currency then its not a pretty life.
The absence of dialogue combined with the non-stop petrol sniffing of the characters combined to leave you feeling hopeless and wondering where it was all headed… perhaps the point.
While the final scene offered a bit of hope it was still a tragic picture by any standard, but one that is worth watching if only to confront.
Can I challenge you to re-look at the film again and go deeper; past the obvious layer of repetitive hopelessness (not the story, just the context), and find the love story and hope that unfolds?
Hi Matty – I had to laugh because as I posted I thought to myself – I’ll bet Matty B will see this differently to me 🙂
I did see the love story – and the glimmer of hope, but I felt it was overshadowed by the dark gloominess of the rest of the story and the bigger picture.
Tell me what you saw, as chances are I may not see it even if I watch again. Your insights will come from a different place and I’d love to hear them.
I guess the biggest challenge is to be able to move past the context which, as you say rightly, can overshadow the rest of the film. I found the film harrowing to say the least – the lack of dialogue (which was brilliant in my opinion, especially when Samson finally utters his first words), the groundhog day-like repetitiveness, the constant barrage of crisis and pain… all left me initially feeling quite numb and exhausted.
Some of the things it stirred in me were:
1. my own habitual mis-judgement of people and situations that I know nothing about.
2. a reminder of how strong and resilient many of this nation’s First people continue to be (many times simply out of necessity for survival)
3. how multi-layered real love is – well beyond the fluffy feelings of love that many of us get distracted by, there remains the eternal qualities of faithfulness, perseverance, selflessness, hope etc (sounds almost biblical 😉 )
4. the fact that many people in this world begin each day in a context that most of us would only ever imagine in our worst nightmares. For them, “normal” is our nightmare. And yet they are left with the same challenge that we are – to connect with themselves and others, to find hope and love, to laugh and cry… to live.
It was a tough movie – but one that will stay near the top of my list of favourites for 2009 (however, not able to out-jostle The Wrestler for Number 1)
Appreciate the insights
There is indeed a world of triumph and tragedy beyond our middle class doors. I have chosen not to watch it, as in my line of work the characters have names and the reality is pretty confronting. The simplistic answers offer no help.
Hamo – thumbs up on the new look.