List Film

Samson & Delilah (4 stars)

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Samson & Delilah

(15) 100min

Samson & Delilah brings the all too rare perspective of the Australian Aboriginal community to the big screen. Writer/director Warwick Thornton draws on his experience growing up in central Australia for his directorial debut about two teenagers who form an unlikely relationship.

Samson is woken each day by the sound of his brother’s bad reggae band and responds to the boredom of village life by inhaling paint fumes. Delilah spends her time looking after her elderly grandmother and helps create detailed paintings, which provide a meagre income for the two to live off. For much of the film there is almost no dialogue, instead Thornton focuses on the body language of his two protagonists as they go through an awkward teenage courtship. The community is captured without judgement, including the violence, drug abuse and the antagonistic relationship with their white neighbours.

This impartial documentation makes Samson & Delilah an intelligent and unsentimental work which at times is deeply painful to watch. And while the film’s pace seems to falter towards the end this is without doubt a very worthy and moving cinematic experience.

GFT, Glasgow & Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 2 Apr.

Samson and Delilah

  • 4 stars
  • 2009
  • Australia
  • 101 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Warwick Thornton
  • Written by: Warwick Thornton
  • Cast: Rowan McNamara, Marissa Gibson

Thornton draws on his experience of growing up in central Australia for this directorial debut about two teenagers who form an unlikely relationship. Their Aboriginal community is captured without judgement, including the violence, drug abuse and the antagonistic relationship with their white neighbours, and it is this…

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