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The Tracker (2002)

David Gulpilil , Gary Sweet , Rolf de Heer  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Gulpilil, Gary Sweet, Damon Gameau, Grant Page, Noel Wilton
  • Directors: Rolf de Heer
  • Writers: Rolf de Heer
  • Producers: Rolf de Heer, Bridget Ikin, Domenico Procacci, Julie Ryan, Nils Erik Nielsen
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Art Mattan
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A7Q2KA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,225 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Tracker" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Special Feature:
  • Bonus documentary
  • Gulpilil: One Red Blood

Editorial Reviews

Featuring a mesmerizing and fearless performance from David Gulpilil (Walkabout, Rabbit-Proof Fence), THE TRACKER is at once a mystery, an adventure, and a pointed commentary on the atrocities committed against the Aborigines. In 1922, an Aboriginal tracker leads two mounted policeman and a civilian through the Australian Outback on the hunt for a black fugitive who is charged with killing a white woman. The group struggles through extremely rugged terrain inhabited by hostile aborigines, wild animals, and poisonous reptiles. Though treated as a virtual slave by the white men leading the search, it becomes clear that the Tracker has his own agenda. Through massacre and murder the party falls into disarray, stirring up questions of what is black and what is white and who is leading whom.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
I have been a big fan of Australian movies since '71 when I first saw a very young aborigine named David Gulpilil in 'Walkabout' and have followed his film career ever since. He had a major role in one of my all-time favorite movies 'The Last Wave' in '79, made a very brief appearance at the beginning of 'The Right Stuff' in '83, a cameo in 'Crocodile Dundee' in '86, another cameo in 'Dead Heart' in '97 and then landed another major role in '02 in the highly acclaimed 'Rabbit-Proof Fence.'

Oddly enough David's signature role was filmed in the same year as 'Rabbit-Proof Fence.' I'm talking about a movie that is totally unknown the the U.S.A. but was awarded the 'Best Film' award and 'Best Actor' award for David by the Australian Film Critics Circle. The film is 'The Tracker.'

This is one of my favorite movies about the Australian aborigines. The year is 1922 and David, known only as 'the Tracker' is guiding three white officials through the outback in search of another aborigine accused of killing a white woman. During the journey 'the Tracker' is forced to endure not only derogatory treatment from the 'the Fanatic' in charge (Gary Sweet) but must witness in silence the arbitary killing of innocent aborigines encountered along way. As tensions continue to build 'the Tracker' quietly plans his revenge and in the end true justice, aboriginal justice, is dealt out.

David Gulpilil dominates this film, he's absolutely amazing! Every expression, every gesture is filled with understanding, rage and humor. This is in every way his movie. Saying that, I also want to make mention of the wonderful supporting role played by Damon Gamean as 'the Follower.' His inner journey of personal transformation is extraordinary and a perfect counterbalance to David.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The many tracks to justice March 24, 2007
When Philip Noyce directed "Rabbit-proof Fence" - a film about Aborigine children escaping white captivity - he hired David Gulpilil in the role of the "black tracker". With forty thousand years of experience in the Australian bush under their belts [sic?], the Aborigines are trackers without peer. The European invaders quickly learned to use them in tracing missing children, criminals and other tasks. In the "Special Features" of "Rabbit-proof Fence", Noyce comments on his sudden awareness that Gulpilil virtually redefined the role. With no lines - none are needed - David makes clear that an Aborigine would find the children. But he "misses" them in passing, glancing over his shoulder to where they were hiding in the scrub. He presumed the real tracker sent after them had done something similar. In this film, David Gulpilil is the lead role, and clearly defines it in his own way. Even writer-director de Heer is unlikely have the savvy to devise a script to achieve what Gulpilil accomplishes here.

The story is of three whites, two of whom are policemen, to chase down an Aborigine murder suspect. The leader, a fanatic racist, is no exaggeration as Australian history has shown. The young policeman is an eager innocent, but flexible. To him it's part of a new job. The third white is a "squatter", conscripted to fill out the group. As "The Tracker", Gulpilil must lead them over a sparse landscape with few clues to the suspect's passage. The trail is scanty, the man elusive, and the whites are totally dependent on Gulpilil's abilities. In one scene, as the group arrives at the edge of a stony plain, the young policeman objects that there's no trail to follow. The expanse of pebbles is extensive and no sign of human passage can be made out.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clash in Australia: Aborigine and White January 10, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's impossible not to be a David Gulpilil fan...he can do no wrong in any film. He exudes an aboriginal dignity in the same way that Toshire Mifune exudes a samurai dignity. This is a film about his assignment as a tracker hired to find an Aborigine criminal. The film examines who is the criminal and who is the innocent...who has standing in the bush wilderness and who does not. A very interesting film and well worth purchasing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating trek through the Australian outback September 15, 2006
Rolf de Heer's outstanding film, "The Tracker" is a visually stunning odyssey through the remote, unforgiving Australian bush and liberally filled with social commentary.

The year is 1922 and a band of three mounted policeman is being lead by an aboriginal known as The Tracker, played by David Gulpilil. They are following another native Australian accused of murdering a white woman. The band is lead by The Fanatic played by Gary Sweet, a murderous bigoted Australian, who thinks of native Aboriginals as subhuman. Along the trail he displays his ruthlessness by shooting innocent blacks the group come across. Also along for the ride is a young naive Damon Gameau whose morality has yet to be corrupted towards racial inequality.

As the group move deeper and deeper into Aboriginal territory and away from civilization, The Tracker who is chained by the Fanatic like a dog, begins to follow his own agenda within the pursuit. As they continue, the Follower is forced to choose between the intolerant racist ideology of the Fanatic and fair and broad minded views of the Tracker.

Rolf de Heers brilliant depiction of the despicable racism evidenced in Australia at that time serves as a reminder that the dehumanization of anyone regardless of their differences cannot be condoned.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Another excellent Aussie movie
Published 1 month ago by Neil Fennell
5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie ever
My wife and I are avid movie watchers....200 per year minimum. This movie is by far our favorite movie of all time. A lot of reviews talk about the theme being of race. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Hard2hear
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Tense But Ultimately A Letdown
The film's premise is simple: three Aussie constables, led by an Aboriginal "tracker," hunt an Aborigine wanted for the killing of a white woman across the outback. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mike Crestwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Best revenge movie ever made!
This is a terrific movie with a surprise ending that will make you see how odious the White Man is to those he conquers, and how oblivious they are to the community they can't... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Leona Boudin
3.0 out of 5 stars Long and wondering
This film wants to tell something of the story of the interface between Aborigine culture in the Australian outback and white Christian culture. But it doesn't do a great job. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Short Dog
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this great allegory and masterwork performance for...
A superb film. The performance by David Gulpilil is rivaled only by the incredible scenery of the Australian out-back. This is a must-see classic!
Published 17 months ago by Michael Waterman
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy, thought provoking and interesting movie.
I gave this a 5 rating because it is an outstanding movie exploring the oppression, use, abuse of Aboriginal people early last Century. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Elizabeth K. Law
4.0 out of 5 stars THE TRACKER
This is an excellent film. I like the story line. David Gulpilil is always good in his roles, and this film is no exception. A very good purchase.
Published 22 months ago by Bernard
5.0 out of 5 stars WHO'S POINT OF VIEW?
THE TRACKER is a movie from a liberal point of view. Once again a movie in the same context as roots in which people from the African Diaspora don't have the resources to produce... Read more
Published on April 23, 2012 by T. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
This is one of my (many) favorite films. Set in the always fascinating Australian back-country, historical injustice is dealt with in a surprising way. Read more
Published on June 26, 2010 by dus7
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