Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Australia, 1977. Australian Film Commission, Ayer Productions, Derek Power, McElroy & McElroy. Screenplay by Peter Weir, Tony Morphett, Petru Popescu. Cinematography by Russell Boyd. Produced by Hal McElroy, Jim McElroy. Music by Charles Wain. Production Design by Goran Warff. Costume Design by Annie Bleakley. Film Editing by Max Lemon.
Highly atmospheric drama by Peter Weir, about a Sydney lawyer (Richard Chamberlain) who is assigned the case of defending five aboriginal citizens accused of murdering a sixth. Although the general consensus is that there are no tribal aboriginals in the big city, Chamberlain is convinced that some kind of ritual misdeed has occurred and is connected with the victim’s death. His investigation into this possibility occurs in tandem with some very frightening dreams he has of apocalyptic floods destroying the earth, and his foray into the unknown completely changes his life and threatens his sanity. Weir’s direction and the cinematography are superb, the story, even at its most obscure, is always mesmerizing.