Backroads (1977)

Film details


Gary, a young reserve-dwelling Aborigine, has tried to make it in white society, but the pressures of adapting to an unfamiliar life style have led to the failure of his marriage to a white woman. Chance participation in a car robbery unites him in a turbulent relationship with a white man, Jack King. Jack preaches anarchy, mocking Gary for his passive nature and suggesting that the Aborigines have only themselves to blame for their downtrodden position. He encourages Gary to steal and, for a while, Gary experiences the mindless self-interest that has allowed the whites to dominate the Aborigines in Australia for 200 years. They journey to Gary's home, a rundown collection of tin sheds perched in the desert wilderness of outback New South Wales, where they are joined by Gary's alcoholic Uncle Joe. In their Pontiac car, the three embark on a seemingly aimless journey out of the desert to a coastal oasis, escaping the vacuum of their former lives through jovial drunken escapades and petty thievery. They remain outside the white-man's law for as long as it suits them...until one savage act of revenge means that they can never return.

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