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The Tracker Review


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Men will go to great lengths to pursue justice. The quest for it in this film raises the question... whose justice? Is this the justice of the white man of Australia when a black is accused of murdering a white woman? Does rage over the offense translate to immediate conviction? While doubts hover over the expedition of 1922 across the dry miles of the Australian outback on the trail of the accused, other forms of guilt develop, and justice is applied in an unexpected way.

The four characters of the expedition are identified by their function in the story. Leading the pursuit of the runaway native is the stiff-backed "Fanatic" (Gary Sweet), a complex, intelligent man full of racial hatred, self-righteous zeal and self-justifying cruelty. However deep his contempt for anyone not of his color or calling, he has the wisdom to employ the services of the "Tracker" (David Gulpilil), although without much trust from the man. His own recognition of subtle marks on the ground suggest the subtlety of his mind.

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