Based on Robyn Davidson’s book about the 2790km trek she made in 1977 from Alice Springs across the Gibson Desert to the Indian Ocean, Tracks stars Mia Wasikowska (pictured above) and the Australian landscape, which ensures that this film never becomes boring. American Adam Driver plays Rick Smolan, the National Geographic photographer who arranges funding for Robyn’s trek in exchange for being able to photograph her occasionally along the route. A supporting cast of dogs (two of whom play Diggity, Robyn’s beloved dog), camels and seasoned actors add to the charm of this quintessentially Australian film.
John Flaus is notable as Afghani camel farmer Sallay Mahomet, but it is Aboriginal elder Rolley Mintuma playing his own ancestor Mr Eddy, who inadvertently steals every scene in which he appears. Having volunteered to guide Robyn through sacred land that she otherwise could not cross, Eddy becomes her friend and mentor. Although he does not speak English and she understands only a smattering of his Pitjantjatjara language, he keeps up a running commentary on the features of the land through which they are passing, teaching her as they go.
Directed by John Curran, and shot by acclaimed cinematographer Mandy Walker on anamorphic 35mm film, Tracks presents a vast array of outback landscapes with the contours and colours that have inspired so many of our iconic painters. Whatever you teach, Tracks will make a great resource. It tells an amazing story, the characters are vividly portrayed and every frame is stunning.