Tracks (12A)

Directed by John Curran
Picturehouse, Liverpool
25th April - 1st May 2014

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Based on a true story Tracks chronicles a 1700 mile trek across the Australian outback by 27-year-old Robyn Davidson in 1977.

She began the journey in Alice Springs, with her final destination being the west coast, accompanied by a beautiful black dog called Diggity and four camels, who she had painstakingly trained.

Davidson, played by Mia Wasikowska, who appeared as the cutesy woman in The Double, was a loner, who did not particularly enjoy the company of other people. Nevertheless she is far more relaxed in the company of the indigenous people she meets along the way.

The trek was sponsored by National Geographic, with one of their top photographers Rick Smollan (Adam Driver) assigned to the task of documenting the epic travels of The Camel Lady.

She resents his intrusion on several occasions along the way, particularly his insistence on asking her to pose for shots. But for him though, and his thoughtfulness towards her, she would have died through lack of water en route to her goal.

Davidson has demons from her childhood, which still plagued her, notably the suicide of her mother by hanging. Maybe this was a major motivation in her quest - to achieve something which most people would believe was beyond them.

The camels are fascinating to watch throughout the film, together with Diggity, a delightful bundle of joy, and a treasure to Davidson.

Director John Curran captures the outback in all its sunbaked glory, but never shies away from the potential death trap it can prove to be to those who are dismissive of its fiery and lethal heat.

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