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Samson And Delilah review

Romance in the wilderness of Australia's outback...

Filled with brusque tenderness and dusty beauty, director Warwick Thornton’s first feature (Camera D’Or winner at Cannes last year) is a fine and moving example of outback neorealism.

Tracing the near-wordless romance of two troubled Aboriginal teenagers, it’s filled with startling, incongruously lovely images: the austere bush landscapes and daring, jarring sound design are as eloquent as its lovers are tongue-tied.

Sensitive, naturalistic performances also pull you in tightly, particularly non-pro Rowan McNamara’s raw, impulsive Samson, pitch-perfect against Marissa Gibson’s stoical, life-whacked Delilah.

Thornton, himself an indigenous Australian, presents the poverty, petrol huffing and near-hopelessness of their lives with watchful clarity, but also humour and compassion.

There’s a bumpy, wholly unexpected dip into melodrama along the way, but the film’s commitment to its characters, and its sheer emotional heft, carries you along regardless.

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