Walkabout

Movie review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Walkabout Movie Poster Image
Disturbing, arty survival film best for adults, older teens.
  • NR
  • 1971
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The film's messages are up to interpretation, but seem generally to be a critique of modern culture and discrimination.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The teen girl shows amazing resilience in the face of tragedy and takes good care of her younger brother. The Aboriginal teen helps the siblings through a crisis.

Violence

One particularly violent and disturbing scene near the beginning where a father shoots at his two children and then sets his car and himself on fire. One later scene shows a main character hanged. Several gruesome animal deaths.

Sex

Full-frontal female nudity in bathing or swimming scenes -- mildly erotic, but non-sexual. Aboriginal teen wears front-piece, but buttocks are exposed. One brief scene of Aboriginal group shows all ages nude, but non-sexual and from a distance. One short scene where men are looking down woman's shirt.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief smoking by father and by teen girl after she's an adult.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this visually-rich drama from 1971 contains some extremely disturbing scenes, including a father shooting at his children and a hanging. Young viewers might be disturbed by the teen girl and young boy's lengthy struggle to survive alone in the Australian outback. Several hunting scenes include animals being killed, gutted, and cooked, with lingering close-ups of carcasses and maggots. The teen girl often appears in her bra, sometimes in her underwear, and a couple times appears topless and nude. These scenes are not explicitly sexual, but some are mildly erotic.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 year old Written bykkurcisk February 15, 2012

Artistic survival story

This is a memorable film, and well worth the time investment to watch with your older kids. I first saw it in a high school English class, but sought it out to... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 1, 2013

Bad

Strong nudity, strong language, strong violence, strong sex, strong gore, strong drugs.
Kid, 10 years old June 20, 2015

A bit disturbing

The plot was interesting. My father and I were confused because it's a bit fuzzy, meaning you don't know what's happening sometimes. The movie is... Continue reading

What's the story?

After an Australian teen girl and her young brother are abandoned by their violent father they must find their way home through the beautiful and desolate Outback. The siblings show startling resilience and strength as they suffer from hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and oddly-detached emotions. On the brink of death, the duo meets an Aboriginal teen who helps them survive through hunting and foraging. As the group gets closer to formal civilization, the trio splits in a disturbing series of events meant to comment on the contrasts between Western and traditional cultures, as well as the loss of innocence.

Is it any good?

The film is full of gorgeous images, fascinating soundscapes, and quietly disturbing scenes that create an evocative and powerful piece of art and commentary. The contrasts between the natural and the urban and the Western and Aboriginal are provocative, critiquing modern culture in a way that's both subtle and stark. The characters are barely developed, and yet their performances are strong. All the positives outweigh some of the odd art-film elements that seem outdated at times, or just misplaced. Sometimes it's hard to understand the young boy, in part because of his accent, which detracts from the overall impact of certain scenes.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about survival. What did the teen girl and young boy have to do in order to survive? Were you surprised by anything they did or by how they acted? How did their methods of survival differ from the Aboriginal teen?

  • Talk about cultural differences. How did the film portray the contrast between the urban and nature-based cultures? What message did you get from the film, and was it different from what you think the filmmakers intended?

Movie details

For kids who love movies about other cultures

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