The Tracker | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Rolf de Heer's 2002 western, which I first saw as the opening-night attraction at the Melbourne film festival, is the best Australian feature I've seen in years. Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil (Walkabout, Rabbit-Proof Fence) gives the performance of a lifetime as a tracker helping three mounted police find a murder suspect in 1922, and though the film recalls Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man in its grim tale of pursuit, poetic feeling for history and landscape, and contemporary score (performed by aboriginal singer Archie Roach), it has an identity all its own. One of its most original moves is cutting to paintings by Peter Coad, specially commissioned for the film, at every moment of violence. With Gary Sweet and Grant Page. 102 min. Facets Cinematheque.

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