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Samson & Delilah

DIRECTED BY - Warwick Thornton

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Two Australian Aboriginal kids travel in dark places in their bid for survival in this astoundingly affecting Camera d'or winner from Warwick Thornton. Interestingly, Thornton gives young Delilah (Melissa Gibson) the hero's role. Glue-sniffing Samson (Rowan McNamara) is the lost soul who needs to be saved. Delilah is seen as the nurturer of her Nana (Mitjili Gibson) and of Samson. She endures beating, humiliation, abduction and physical harm, but the smile on her face surmounts all that has gone before; she's a survivor. A beautiful love story providing insight into a hidden world.


Film Info

RUNTIME - 101 minutes

RATING - Not Rated

YEAR - 2009

FORMAT - DVD Region 1

COUNTRY - Australia

LANGUAGE - English


ATTRIBUTES - Anamorphic


Behind-the-Scenes “Making Of” Featurette, Short film THE THINGS THEY SAID by Survival, Short Films by Director Warwick Thornton, Interviews with Cast & Crew, US Theatrical Trailer

Marissa Gibson Delilah
Mitjili Gibson Nana
Scott Thornton Gonzo
Rowan McNamara Samson


Warwick Thornton


Kath Shelper


Warwick Thornton

Production Designer

Daran Fulham

Associate Producer

Peter Bartlett


Peter Bartlett



“…An engrossing and touching snapshot of an Australia too often left on the cutting-room floor.”

- Russell Edwards, Variety

“…A film that says something heartening about the power of sticking together.”

- Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

“… The spiritual here is every bit as powerful as the physical.”



Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review useful

starstarstarhalf a starThe grim, uncertain world of adolescence

written by juniacke on Oct 17th, 2010read all my reviews

this review is from: Samson & Delilah (DVD)

The villain in Warwick Thornton’s Samson And Delilah is not the larger white culture, whose ostensible indifference every filmgoer will recognize for their own shrugging off of panhandlers, nor is it the youthful squander of long nights spent indulging in huffing chemicals and rolling one’s head back to listen to popular music from the car radio. The seemingly universal teen time wasters of experimenting with whatever is on hand, be it radio stations or gasoline fumes, are the stuff of perpetual adolescence, both privileged and poverty stricken, not the drug of choice of hardened addicts. If there is a villain in a film replete with random sexual violence and a thick undercurrent of racism it is that the ever present threat of the bleak nothing will go on forever. Not simply a spiral of bad to worse, the events in Thorton’s nearly dialogue void world are caked with the dirt of a road wandered from nowhere to even more nothing. The obstacles are harsh, some sudden, but none that offer life lessons or even an ounce of scolding, at either us or the unfortunate characters, offering instead an odds-against-them story of two people just trying to find a place of their own.

What could be mislabeled young love in a romantically angled film, the shifting dependency is not so much coming of age but of terms in a world that will not be offering anything consistently. Be it a helping hand or hard knocks. Set against the dust and sunshine of Australia, the story of native teens kicking around feels both common and foreign in its complication of identity. The barrenness of the backdrop, the shacks of the country and the clean fluorescence of modern, white Australia provide stark environments for the teens to wander through. Although the struggle between true and accepted Australian identity may be a subject foreign to most in this country, the assimilation of any individual, be it unanchored youth or disenfranchised minority is a subject that both evokes sympathy but also a too familiar societal shrug for the grim prospects of two individuals inclined to find no real place.

The film is grim, almost mercilessly bleak, as is that age when one can do nothing but hope things get better; filling time with destructive pastimes and stumbling attempts at reaching out for love, acceptance and help. There doesn’t need to be a villain in a world so uninviting and full of obstacle and as the film closes at least on the possible nod toward safety, there is a relief that even if things are never all together perfect they are at least sometimes just enough.

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