Charlie’s Country


Lark Theatre Sun, Oct 5, 2014 7:45 PM
Sequoia 1 Wed, Oct 8, 2014 12:00 PM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Running Time:108
Director:Rolf De Heer
Producer:Nils Erik
Peter Djigirr
Rolf De Heer
Screenwriter:David Gulpilil
Rolf De Heer
Cinematographer:Ian Jones
Editor:Tania Nehme
Cast:David Gulpilil
Peter Djigirr
Luke Ford
Jennifer Budukpuduk Gaykamangu
Peter Minygululu
Note Writer:Richard Peterson


David Gulpilil received a Best Actor award at Cannes this year for his performance as a character largely based on his own life experience in Australia’s Aboriginal community. In his third collaboration with filmmaker Rolf de Heer (Ten Canoes), Gulpilil is the soulful embodiment of Charlie, a restless elder in alcohol-free Arnhem Land who feels the government’s growing grip on his culture while he decries the rapid disappearance of Yolngu traditions. Although well past his prime, Charlie decides to “go bush” and sets out into the wild to practice the old ways, without reckoning how much things really have changed and exactly where he might be going. The film eloquently depicts the daily indignities endured by a marginalized and impoverished people, and in Gulpilil’s remarkable face it finds a vessel of both bemusement and despair, often at the same time, as Charlie confronts modern society with outrage, resilient humor, and more than a measure of mischief. US PREMIERE

Sponsored by Il Fornaio

Additional Information

Director Rolf de Heer has been making feature films for thirty years now, and in that time he’s managed to complete fourteen of them (there are numbers of others that haven’t been completed, one way or the other). The films are usually low of budget but high in impact; they generally have something to say about the human condition despite conventional wisdom that it’s wiser to the contrary; and, more often than not, each succeeding film is quite, quite different from the previous. With those fourteen films, however, Rolf has had some measure of success: four different films in Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival (including the Jury Prize for Ten Canoes in Un Certain Regard); two films in Competition at the Venice Film Festival (including Bad Boy Bubby, which won both the Jury Prize and the Critics’ Prize); films selected for Berlin, Toronto, Telluride, London... the list goes on.