As the title suggests, Walkabout is a journey not only in distance, but also in the transition for one Australian aborigine, from adolescence to manhood. While on a family picnic a beautiful teenager and her brother suddenly find themselves very much alone after the tragic death of their father. As they wander through the outback they meet the young aborigine. The film unfolds and tells the tale of survival, resourcefulness and sexual awareness, as the travellers become lost in the Australian wilderness.
Arthouse parable on the interface between colonialism and indigenous culture. This is a brilliant blend of atmospheric strains, including the ambient silences, John Barry's spiritual orchestral score, the otherness of the South Australian outback locations and Roeg's own woozy, narcotic images. The whole film is carried by a seventeen year old Jenny Agutter, Aboriginal debutant David Gulpilil and the director's eight year old son, Luc Roeg and hardly anyone else is on screen. Roeg's work was philosophical and idiosyncratic and usually incorporated improvisation, broken time structures and unusual casting. They make for a strong deep vibration of eeriness. The whole is then balanced by two contrasting conclusions, both disquieting in their different ways.