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

New Movies

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Advertisement
Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

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...

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.