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

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.