As a charismatic ‘blackfella’, Charlie – sublimely acted by Aboriginal Australian David Gulpilil – passes his days in a small community in Australia’s remote Northern Territory. Among his own people, he is pally with everyone, and occasionally he makes a deal with white folks who are passing through to get hold of a little alcohol or weed. His contact with the local police is usually good-humoured but a confrontation with the authorities seems to be brewing. Knowing nothing of laws and regulations, Charlie’s reaction is to withdraw into the bush where he tries to resume the Aboriginal way of life. But the outback isn’t always the paradise it appears to be.
Dutch-born director Rolf de Heer is known for such films as ‘Ten Canoes’ and ‘Tracker’. He wrote the screenplay for Charlie’s Country in close collaboration with David Gulpilil and the result is hugely powerful! Charlie’s Country depicts superbly the beauty of the Australian landscape but is, first and foremost, a persuasive indictment of the Australian government, whose actions continue to marginalise the lives of indigenous Australians. Gulpilil received the Best Actor Award ‘Un Certain Regard’ at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.