The Tracker Film Analysis

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t is 1922, in the outback, ‘somewhere in Australia' (de Heer, 2002). Six Aboriginal people stand side by side, bound to one another by chains. Two police troopers, the Fanatic (Gary Sweet) and the Follower (Damon Gameau), scream at their faces while the Veteran (Grant Page), a third trooper, sits by and watches. As the Aboriginal people stand silently, a song sung by Archie Roach plays in the background, providing insight into their thoughts; ‘we are no longer free, we are dispossessed' (de Heer, 2002). After taunting the group- pulling their hair and pointing guns at their heads- the Fanatic open fires. The violence is replaced by a painting depicting the scene, as the sound of the guns shots and screaming rings out. When the painting disappears…show more content…
It is the story of an Aboriginal tracker (David Gulpilil) who guides three mounted police troopers in their search for the Fugitive (Noel Wilton), an Aboriginal man who has been accused of murdering a white woman. As one of the first feature films to focus on this period of Australian history (1788-1930s), it deals with a historical topic that is often avoided by commercial filmmakers: frontier violence. Just as in the scene described above, each instance of violence in the film is replaced by a painting by Peter Coad and, rather than masking the violence as some critics have proposed, the paintings constitute ‘an indelible rendering of history and a permanent record of…crimes perpetuated' (Moreton, n.d., para. 2; Barber, n.d., p. 5). Though the paintings are a ‘permanent record', they could be from any time, the location of the film is not specified, it is just ‘somewhere in Australia' and the characters do not have individual names, they are archetypes, representative of kinds of people rather than specific people. For this reason, the film, while fiction, can come to represent many instances of real violence on the

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