Samson & Delilah

"Very Good"

Samson & Delilah Review


A fascinating glimpse into rural Australian life, this virtually wordless love story takes some very dark turns as it probes an offbeat connection between two Aboriginal young people. And it's so atmospheric that it lingers long in the memory.

Samson (McNamara) is a petrol-sniffing addict in a tiny desert community where he lives with his brother (Matthew MG Gibson) and has his eye on Delilah (Marissa Gibson), who lives over the road with her Nana (Mitjili Gibson). When their reluctant, awkward courting rituals are interrupted, they head into a nearby city, where they are treated as outcasts, taking up residence under a bridge with a crazy homeless guy (Thornton). Yet while Delilah tries to get them back on their feet, Samson can't get his nose out of the petrol bottle.

This is an extremely grim story of a particularly nasty culture clash, and yet writer-director Thornton tells it with wit and irony, drawing out the characters' cheeky personalities and steely wills without using much dialog at all. Samson only says one word in the entire film, and Delilah doesn't say much more, but we can see into their hearts as a result of the subtly textured direction and transparent performances. Words aren't really necessary.

This is a strikingly vivid depiction of this small community well beyond the fringe of Australia's European culture. And by keeping the perspective so focussed, we vividly feel these characters' isolation both in their dusty village and in the way they are ignored by people on the city streets.

Meanwhile, the film cleverly adapts ancient Aboriginal customs to this setting, with the tetchy courtship rituals and family beatings contrasted against some starkly violent events in the city.

The film feels somewhat random and alien, but the attention to detail makes it utterly engaging, from the endearing personalities of the central characters to their interaction with nature (flies, ants, kangaroos). And the low-key drug-addiction storyline adds a quiet poignancy to both Samson and Delilah as they try to overcome their aimless, voiceless situation. That the story finds a glimmer of hope in the end is truly remarkable.



Samson & Delilah

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 7th May 2009

Distributed by: Indiepix

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Fresh: 45 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Warwick Thornton

Producer: Kath Shelper

Starring: Suzzanna as Deliah, Paul Hay as Samson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.