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Experimental director Rolf DeHeer's film The Tracker depicts a controversial moment in the Australian justice system, in doing so taking on a popular topic among Australian filmmakers--the complicated and too often racist relationship between Aboriginals and locals. When an Aboriginal tracker (David Gulpilil) leads the manhunt for a fugitive native, a series of atrocities are performed on the ancient tribe by a sadistic policeman participating in the search party. The line between savage and civilian is blurred beyond recognition when Fanatic (Gary Sweet), the policeman, massacres a large… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A high-minded film that at times verges on didacticism, The Tracker is redeemed by its adherence to a simple yet distinctive approach to storytelling and its uniformly strong acting."
‑ Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times
"See the film mainly for the quiet and powerful work of Gulpilil in the title role."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"strangely awkward in terms of film pacing"
‑ Jules Brenner,
"De Heer doesn't want the violence to distract from the sadness and the substance of the movie's mythic history lesson. It's an inventive idea, one that probably doomed the movie's commercial prospects here in the States."
‑ Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Daily News
"Combines a classic movie-Western setting and narrative with a Heart of Darkness-like morality play."
‑ Nick Carter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"An imposing film that tackles a serious theme with dignity and even audacity and that features production values of the highest quality."
‑ David Stratton, Variety
"As the scorned but ever-resourceful guide, Gulpilil has the richest role and makes the most of it."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"[T]he film emphasizes its fable qualities and sets the stage for its moral structure, which hinges on the merging of power and racism and the possibility of resistance."
‑ Doug Cummings, Filmjourney
"The Tracker is the first significant movie to find its way into American theaters in 2005."
‑ Jay Antani, Slant Magazine
"Interspersed with moments of great suspense, the tragic cat-and-mouse survival adventure overshadows the heavy-handed didacticism."
‑ Kent Turner,
"An engrossing study of race and history in Australia."
‑ Ernest Hardy, L.A. Weekly
"The Tracker is one of those rare films that deserves to be called haunting."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"[D]rags you across acres of despair, a harsh landscape of the angry, terrified side of human nature..."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"Specially composed songs makes the study of men driven by primitive cruelty and ruthless justice something of a tone poem."
‑ Jules Brenner, Cinema Signals
"Too often, The Tracker explains when it would be better to suggest."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
More reviews for Tracker on Rotten Tomatoes