Somewhere in Adelaide, Australia, a family lives within a high-rise apartment building where the mother is preparing a meal and listening to the radio. Her fourteen year old daughter (Jenny Agutter) and six year old son (Luc Roeg) swim in the building's pool overlooking a view of the ocean while their father (John Meillon), deep in troubled thought, watches them from their balcony.One day, the father takes his children, still in their school uniforms, on a picnic into the Outback. He parks the car and reads while his daughter sets up a blanket with their lunch. Her brother plays nearby with his water gun and toy soldiers. Suddenly, and for reasons unclear to his children, the father announces it is time to go and brandishes a gun, firing several shots at them. The boy thinks it all to be a game but his sister understands the danger and shields her brother as they run from their mad father. She watches in horror as her father returns to the car and sets it on fire before seating himself within and putting a bullet into his head. Quickly, and keeping her brother's eyes averted, the girl retrieves their radio, a scarf, and what food she can carry before setting off into the wilderness with her brother.The siblings walk for hours under the hot sun, calmed by irrelevant radio broadcasts, and walking past a host of wild creatures. Come nightfall, they make a crude camp for themselves, much to the boy's delight. In the morning, the girl leads them up a rocky hillside where she hopes to find some bearings. However, she can see nothing but a broad spanse of wilderness. When they finish their lemonade, the girl opens a can of vegetables from which they drink the juice. Recalling an uncle's story of military training, the girl suggests they eat salt to retain water and surmises to her brother that they may spend some time in the desert. She remains stoic, but wary, while her brother is blissfully unaware of their situation, remaining entertained by the radio and his toys. Eventually, after becoming filthy and tired, they come upon a lone tree standing over a pool of water where parakeets flock and feast on fallen fruit. The boy puts on in his mouth and proclaims that it 'tastes lovely'. They wash in the water and the girl scolds her brother to take care of his clothes so they will last. When he asks if they are lost, the girl replies that they are not, trying to remain chipper. They sleep to the sounds of the radio as night animals stir around them.In the morning, the girl wakes to find that their water hole has dried up and the fruit has either been eaten or spoiled. The girl decides to remain where they are, hoping that the water will return. As they nap in the hot sun, the boy spots an aborigine youth (David Gulpilil) pursuing an animal for food. They make contact and the children attempt to communicate with the aborigine boy. However, he does not understand their language and merely stares at them with curiosity. The girl repeats their need for water but the word is incomprehensible to the aborigine. When her brother mimics drinking, the aborigine understands and shows them how to dig for water using a hollow tube to drink through. Assuming that he will lead them to civilization, the siblings accompany the aborigine, unaware that he is on a 'walkabout', a coming-of-age journey that every male aborigine youth must take alone in order to be initiated as an adult in his tribe.As they travel the Outback, the aborigine kills and harvests food for them, giving them all plenty to eat and drink. The move from the desert to greener pastures and forests where wildlife becomes plentiful. When the boy becomes sunburnt from going shirtless, the aborigine rubs pig fat on his back to alleviate the burn. While communication between them remains limited, the trio share food and play together, though cultural differences are evident; the boy attempts to share his toy soldiers with the aborigine, but he finds no use for them and tosses them aside. Despite their time together, the aborigine and the girl develop a tension, in part due to their sexual maturity. While the girl remains wary and tries to keep her distance, the aborigine develops feelings for her. When he tries to talk to her, she does not understand, though her brother attempts to find meaning using pantomime. The aborigine boy stops near a rock cliff and draws a story on the rock face. The girl follows his lead and draws a house, hoping the boy will understand. He seems to.Aborigine workers and children surround a solitary house and trailer in the Outback, painted white with plaster from the figurines they're making. Their boss, a gruff white male overlooks their progress, berating them at times, while his wistful wife walks the property. She comes upon the aborigine boy and speaks to him but he rebuffs the woman's advances and walks away. The woman spots the children the boy is with but they remain unaware of her presence and follow the aborigine further into the wilds.So near and yet so far away, less than a few miles from the children's location, a group of scientists fiddle with weather balloons, though the men seem more interested in the solitary woman on their team. They look over at her every time she leans and one man goes so far as to eliminate further competition for her affections by letting loose one of their balloons, inciting a short chase by the other men. The balloon drifts away and eventually is caught in brambles and found by the aborigine boy. Tired, the girl asks him when they will reach their destination. Her brother translates the aborigine's signs that they should arrive that day.Later, they come upon a homestead overlooking a field of green and backed by a forest. The girl runs ahead along a picket fence but is upset to find that the home is deserted and crumbling. They set up residence there and the aborigine boy tries to speak to the girl but does not understand her sorrow. He watches her as she tours the home and begins to cry after finding some old photographs. He remains confused but understand when the girl asks for 'water'. Later on, the aborigine shows the boy a paved road near the homestead before going hunting. He chases an animal with his spear but is knocked aside as a truck carrying white men drives past and guns the animal down. The boy watches in silent confusion as the men tote the animal away.He returns to the homestead and ignores the girl's hello. His feelings culminating, he decides to perform a courtship dance for the girl, perhaps knowing that he can never return to his tribe. He paints himself with white clay and puts feathers on his arms and head. However, his dance frightens the girl and she shuts herself inside the house with her brother while he continues to dance outside into the night. Despite his visibly exhaustion, the girl refuses to speak to him. When her brother tells her of the road that he found with the aborigine, the girl decides that they will continue along their journey alone come morning.The next day, they dress fully in their school uniforms and collect their things. The boy looks for the aborigine, who has disappeared, but the girl insists that he went back to his people and that his absence is for the best. Her brother then tells her he tried to offer the aborigine his pen as a gift, but the boy didn't take it. Puzzled, the girl follows her brother to where the aborigine had propped himself in a hanging position in the low branches of a tree, dead of exhaustion and heartbreak. The girl swats a few ants off the boy's body, looks at him sadly, and then takes her brother to the road. They follow it to a row of buildings near a mine quarry and knock on one of the trailer doors. An older man answers begrudgingly and tells them to leave. When the girl begs for help, he tells them where they can wait for someone to collect them. The siblings walk away from the trailer and its well watered lawn to the old mine where they play together among scrap metal.Years later, a young man returns home where he greets his wife, the girl now grown, and tells her that he's been promoted to a position that will finance a vacation on the Gold Coast. His wife's mind wanders and when he asks her what she's thinking of, she replies, 'nothing'. But we see her visions of years past when she and her brother bathed and played happily, and without trifle needs, in the Outback with their aborigine friend. Two young children are stranded in the Australian outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Aborigine on "walkabout": a ritualistic separation from his tribe.
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Last edited by ctaulbee; 21-06-2013 at 23:01. Reason: Update to Version 2 with spelling correction
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